5 NFL Players Suspended for Violating Gambling Policies

The NFL has suspended five players, including standout wide receiver prospect Jameson Williams (l.), for violating league gambling rules. Three of the players bet on NFL games specifically, whereas the other two—including Williams—placed bets while located on team property.

5 NFL Players Suspended for Violating Gambling Policies

The National Football League (NFL) has announced that a total of five players—four from the Detroit Lions and one from the Washington Commanders—have been suspended for violating league gambling rules.

Lions’ safety C.J. Moore, wide receiver Quintez Cephus and Commanders’ defensive end Shaka Toney were all given indefinite suspensions for betting on NFL games. The other two, Lions’ wide receivers Jameson Williams and Stanley Berryhill, did not bet on NFL games, but the two were given six-game suspensions for placing bets while located at the team facility, which is still a violation of league rules.

Moore, Cephus and Toney can all apply for reinstatement after one year—Jaguars’ wide receiver Calvin Ridley just finished serving a one-year suspension for the same offense and was granted reinstatement in March.

Per NFL policy, all players and personnel are prohibited from placing bets on any league-related events under any circumstances, including games and the draft. They are also barred from placing bets while located at a team facility or while traveling with the team for league purposes.

In its announcement, the NFL said that there was no evidence of the players using inside information or otherwise compromising the integrity of a game due to a bet.

Lions General Manager Brad Holmes said in a statement after the suspensions were announced that the team has “made the decision to part ways with Quintez (Cephus) and C.J. (Moore) immediately. We are disappointed by the decision making demonstrated by Stanley and Jameson and will work with both players to ensure they understand the severity of these violations and have clarity on the league rules moving forward.”

According to ESPN, the Lions were first notified about the potential violations a month ago, before the league started its initial investigation. Several other staff members throughout the organization have also been let go for gambling-related offenses, ESPN reported.

The Commanders released a statement acknowledging that it has “cooperated fully with the NFL’s investigation since receiving notice and support the league’s findings and actions,” but directed all other questions “to the NFL League Office.”

It is unclear at this time whether or not Washington will release Toney ahead of the NFL Draft on April 27. The franchise is reportedly in the process of being sold to a group led by Philadelphia 76ers’ co-owner Josh Harris for a total consideration of $6 billion.

While the recent announcement was detrimental to all parties involved, perhaps the highest-profile player implicated in the controversy is Williams, who was touted as a Pro Bowl-level prospect coming out of Alabama before suffering a torn ACL during the 2021 College Football Playoff championship game.

The late-season injury caused Williams to fall to 12th in last year’s draft, which many viewed as a steal for Detroit. In all, Williams had an abridged rookie season, only playing six games—his lone reception of the year was a 41-yard touchdown against the Vikings, which showed his potential as a deep threat receiver.

Many expected Williams to have a breakout second year for the up-and-coming Lions, who were the feel-good story of last season, but now it appears that he will miss at least six games with the recent suspension.

“Jameson takes full responsibility for his actions and is very apologetic to the NFL, his teammates and the fans and city of Detroit,” Williams’ representation, Alliance Sports, said in a statement to ESPN. “However, it is important to note that Jameson’s violation was not for betting on football but rather due to a technical rule regarding the actual location in which the online bet was placed — and which would otherwise be allowed by the NFL outside of the club’s facility. Jameson would never intentionally jeopardize the integrity of the game he loves so much and looks forward to getting back to his team as soon as possible.”

Both Williams and Berryhill will be eligible to participate in team activities, but won’t be available to play until week 7 of the regular season.