It was reported that a second wave of gambling violations was to be expected after Indianapolis Colts cornerback Isaiah Rodgers and defensive end Rashod Berry have been suspended at least one year for gambling on the NFL, and Tennessee Titans right tackle Nicholas Petit-Frere has been handed a six-game suspension for violating the league's gambling policy by placing wagers at an inappropriate location. Free agent defensive lineman Demetrius Taylor was also suspended for at least a year., and that came crashing down on Thursday. The first three names to emerge were from the AFC South.
Petit-Frere did not bet on NFL games, but he did bet on other sports while at the workplace. It is the same situation Detroit Lions wide receiver Jameson Williams found himself in earlier this offseason.
Petit-Frere gave this statement to ESPN:
"Firstly I wanted to say that it's an honor to play in the NFL and it has been a blessing to play this game. The NFL plans to announce another round of sanctions regarding its gambling policies and I will be included in this group of players receiving a six-game suspension. The betting I engaged in was NOT NFL related and was legal under Tennessee law. It is only being sanctioned because it occurred at the Titans facility.
I want to apologize to my family, coaches, teammates and the Titans fans. I have always strived in every stage of my life to follow the rules. I did not knowingly break the rules. Even after attending a league presentation, I was unaware about the specifics around placing bets from a team facility. I will do everything in my power to help the team during training camp and will be prepared when I return to the roster during the season."
The Titans also released a statement confirming the Petit-Frere suspension, per NFL Media:
"We have been made aware of Nick's suspension by the league. We believe in Nick and know that he has deep respect for the integrity of the game and our organization. We will continue to emphasize to our players the importance of understanding and adhering to league rules and policies."
Petit-Frere was drafted by the Titans in the third round out of Ohio State last year, and started in all 16 games he played in during his rookie season. He and Rodgers were two of four players to be suspended on Thursday, as Colts defensive end Rashod Berry and free-agent defensive end Demetrius Taylor were handed indefinite suspensions that will last at least one year for betting on NFL games.
Earlier this month, the NFL laid out to help players understand the league's gambling policy:
1. Don't bet on the NFL.
2. Don't gamble at your team facility, while traveling for a road game, or staying at a team hotel.
3. Don't have someone bet for you.
4. Don't share team "inside information."
5. Don't enter a sportsbook during the NFL playing season.
6. Don't play daily Fantasy football.