After serving a suspension that ran for nearly 16 months, former Cardinals player Josh Shaw has finally been reinstated by the NFL. The league hit Shaw with a lengthy suspension back in November 2019 after he was caught gambling on an NFL game.
Under terms of the suspension, Shaw was forced to miss the rest of the 2019 season and the entire 2020 season, which means he ended up being banned for a total of 21 games. Betting on football might be legal in most of the country right now, but it's definitely still against NFL rules and Roger Goodell made that clear when he announced Shaw's suspension.
"The continued success of the NFL depends directly on each of us doing everything necessary to safeguard the integrity of the game and the reputations of all who participate in the league," Goodell said in November 2019. "At the core of this responsibility is the longstanding principle that betting on NFL games, or on any element of a game, puts at risk the integrity of the game, damages public confidence in the NFL, and is forbidden under all circumstances. If you work in the NFL in any capacity, you may not bet on NFL football."
Shaw was eligible to apply for reinstatement on Feb. 15, but the NFL didn't grant his request until Saturday.
Although it's unclear how much betting Shaw did, it is known that he bet on at least a Cardinals-Buccaneers game as part of a three-team parlay, and the fascinating part is that he actually bet against the team he was playing for at the time. According to ESPN.com, Shaw, who was on injured reserve, was in Las Vegas for Week 10 of the 2019 NFL season and he ended up betting on the Buccaneers to cover as a one-point second half favorite against Arizona. Although the Bucs were leading 17-13 at halftime, the Cardinals actually outscored Tampa Bay in the second half (14-13), which means Shaw lost the bet because the Buccaneers didn't cover the second half spread.
Even though he's been out of football for more than a year, it's possible that Shaw could still land somewhere this offseason. The defensive back started his career as a fourth-round pick of the Bengals in 2015 and ended up playing in 47 games with them over three seasons. In 2018, Shaw played four games for both the Buccaneers and Chiefs. During the 2019 offseason, he signed with the Cardinals, but didn't play a single game in Arizona. Shaw injured his shoulder during the Cardinals' preseason and was placed on injured reserve, which is why he had the free time to visit Las Vegas to gamble during the season.