The Denver Broncos start losing before the season even starts

Eyioma Uwazurike's past transgressions will keep him out of the NFL for at least a year.

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Legalizing sports betting doesn't make it okay for everyone to do. Denver Broncos defensive end Eyioma Uwazurike learned that lesson the hard way this past Monday. The NFL announced Uwazurike's indefinite suspension for betting on NFL games last season, keeping the defender out of the league for at least a season.

Uwazurike came into the league as a fourth-round selection in the 2022 NFL Draft, making his betting a literal rookie mistake. He is the first Broncos player to be suspended amidst the league's crackdown on sports betting. The NFL has suspended multiple players and coaches for them partaking in betting on NFL games. The Broncos responded to the announcement, saying the "fully cooperated with this investigation and takes matters pertaining to the integrity of the game very seriously."

The NFL rules are not keeping up with the legalization of sports betting around the country. NFL players cannot gamble while in team facilities, leak team information, or even have relationships with sports gamblers. I do not know how that is possible, but someone tells Joe Burrow's brother to start betting on some games if that can get him suspended.

This has to be frustrating for the Broncos, especially after trying to bounce back in 2023. He appeared in six of the Broncos' final seven games, serving as an average defender down the stretch. Uwazurike was certainly in line for more work this season, but now Denver has to address his vacancy on the depth chart.

Wide receiver Calvin Ridley is the precedent, after being suspended for the entire 2022 season for gambling on games. He ended up with the Jacksonville Jaguars but was reinstated for the 2023 season. It is a hefty price to pay for doing something legal, but the league is hardly in the wrong. Individual players an coaches can greatly affect a game in the worst-case scenario, a la the Black Sox Scandal of 1919. Eight Men Out is a pretty good dramatization of it, if you want the gist.

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