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Top NFL Off-Season Storylines: Recent Suspensions & Trade Results

Robert Duff

by Robert Duff in NFL Football

Updated May 29, 2023 · 10:56 AM PDT

Detroit Lions WR Jameson Williams is sitting out an NFL suspension for gambling
Lions wide receiver Jameson Williams walks off the field after OTAs.
  • Among the NFL off-season moves, WR Jameson Williams was among several Detroit Lions suspended for betting on sports
  • History was repeating itself as Green Bay dealt its Super Bowl-winning MVP QB to the New York Jets
  • Several other players were moving on to new homes via free agency

The Detroit Lions have been a hot topic during the NFL off-season. Going 8-2 over their last 10 games of the 2022 season, the Lions are the +120 favorites to win the NFC North in the NFL divisional odds.

Plenty of people are betting on the Lions this season, including it seems, some of their own players.

Four Lions players, including 2022 first-round draft choice Jameson Williams, were issued NFL suspensions for gambling on sports. Published reports are indicating that a fifth player is also under investigation for betting on sports.

There’s also a lot of action going on the New York Jets since they acquired multiple NFL MVP and Super Bowl winner Aaron Rodgers from the Green Bay Packers to take over as their starting quarterback. The Jets are the sixth betting choice in the Super Bowl odds at a betting line of +1400.

Let’s look at these and other moves and how they are impacting the NFL off-season odds as the September 7 kickoff to the NFL season moves closer.

NFL Off-Season Suspenions

For the second successive season, the Lions find themselves in wait and see mode when it comes to Williams. Last year, off-season knee surgery left the player Detroit chose 12th overall in the NFL Draft on the shelf until December 4.

This season, he’ll be sitting out the first six games under NFL suspension after violating the NFL gambling policy. Williams and WR Stanley Berryhill were both suspended six games, while receiver Quintez Cephus and safety CJ Moore are out for at least the entire 2023 season.

Cephus and Moore were punished for betting on NFL games. Although Williams and Berryhill weren’t betting on the NFL, they were suspended for placing their sports wagers while at the team’s practice facility. Players may bet on other sports, but must not be involved with any form of gambling while on team or league property.

This week, reports have surfaced that a fifth Lions player is also under investigation for gambling on sports. The Lions released Cephus and Moore. Washington Commanders offensive lineman Shaka Toney is also under a one-year NFL suspension for betting on games.  All three players will need to apply for reinstatement to the NFL following the completion of this season.

Wide receiver Calvin Ridley was recently reinstated after sitting out a year under league suspension for gambling on games. He was traded by the Atlanta Falcons to the Jacksonville Jaguars.

NFL Off-Season Quarterback Moves

It’s been 15 years since the Packers made the decision to move on from Brett Favre in favor of the young Rodgers. Green Bay traded Favre to the New York Jets in August of 2008.

It started out great. The Jets were 8-3 in their first 11 games with Favre under center. Then he tore the biceps tendon in his throwing arm. Favre crashed and burned, taking the team down with him. The Jets missed the playoffs and Favre was gone after the season.

Much like Favre before him, Rodgers seemed intent on engineering his departure from the Pack. The long, drawn-out process that ultimately led to Rodgers joining the Jets also impacted the betting market on New York’s AFC team. Since the start of the Rodgers to the Jets rumors, the Super Bowl betting line on the club has shortened from +4000 to +1400.

Will it end in a better outcome than the Favre-Jets marriage?

While Rodgers was the biggest name to switch teams among QBs, he’s hardly the only one. The Las Vegas Raiders (Jimmy Garoppolo), New Orleans Saints (Derek Carr), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Baker Mayfield), Falcons (Taylor Heinicke), Carolina Panthers (Andy Dalton), Houston Texans (Case Keenum) and Commanders (Jacoby Brissett) all added veteran QBs with significant starting experience on their resumes.

Not that these changes are doing much to impress the oddsmakers, mind you. Other than the Jets, no team is moving the needle on their Super Bowl betting line. The Raiders and Saints are the best of the bunch among this motley crew. They share 14th spot in the Super Bowl odds at +3500.

New Orleans is the +1400 fifth betting choice to win the conference in the NFC Championship odds. As for the Raiders, there are already reports that Garoppolo failed his physical and could be released if he doesn’t pass a second physical prior to the start of the season.

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