Ravens GM Eric DeCosta issues 'very clear' warning to players about gambling

As gambling becomes a larger issue across the NFL, league officials are searching for ways to ensure players understand the rules.

Several players have been suspended in recent months, with the NFL possibly investigating others. Calvin Ridley is one of the notable players who has been punished for gambling. He warned other players about the dangers of defying the league's gambling policies.

Earlier this week, the league attempted to fortify its stance on players engaging in sports gambling by introducing six “key rules” about wagering. But Eric DeCosta, the Baltimore Ravens general manager, decided to take things one step further by making a direct appeal to the players on Baltimore's roster.


According to the Baltimore Sun, DeCosta opened the Ravens minicamp sessions by “laying out the details of the NFL’s prohibition against gambling and emphasizing the severity of potential penalties.”


Partnerships with gambling companies has only grown across the NFL, and the Ravens are entering the second year of a deal with BetMGM.

Ravens head coach Jim Harbaugh said he hoped that DeCosta's personal appeal sent a clear message to the players.

“It does concern you that it’s not always too clear,” Harbaugh said. “The clearest thing would be [to] just stay away from it, but guys are going to be on vacation, and they may play blackjack or whatever, there’s nothing wrong with that, if they do that.”

“But it is very clear in terms of sports gambling, in terms of where you can be during the season, those kinds of things, and in terms of not betting on football, period, end of story. That’s pretty darn clear.”

Aside from Ridley's season-long suspension, Detroit Lions wide receiver Jameson Williams will miss the first six games of the upcoming season after he placed bets on non-NFL events.

Ravens players Marlon Humphrey and Ronnie Stanley expressed appreciation for DeCosta's efforts.

“I don’t think it concerns me,” Stanley said. “There might be a lack of clarity, but I don’t think so. Because of all the different rules between gambling, all the different sites, fantasy – I think guys, especially in the newer generation, probably get a little bit more confused about what they can and can’t do. But I know the league and [NFLPA], they try to have these meetings to make sure that we have a full understanding of things that we can and can’t gamble on.”

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