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Controversial NFL bet called off: Malik Nabers says $10,000 Rookie of the Year bet with Jayden Daniels is off

Jayden Daniels and Malik Nabers have decided not to test the NFL’s gambling policy. 

The two rookies made headlines this week after it became public that they had decided to make a $10,000 bet on who would win rookie of the year. However, that bet is now off. Apparently, the two rookies were informed of the NFL’s gambling policy at some point over the past 24 hours and after learning the ins and out of the policy, Nabers said the two decided to call the bet off. 

“I’m educated now that I got here about sports betting and gambling,” Nabers said on Friday. “We’re calling the bet off. There is no bet now. It was just another brother pushing another brother to try to get to success. That’s all it was.

The drama involving the bet started this week after Daniels did an interview on the “All Facts, No Brakes” podcast. During that appearance, the Commanders quarterback, who was taken with the second overall pick, revealed that he had made a $10,000 bet with his former LSU teammate over who’s going to win NFL Offensive rookie of the year. 

When Daniels asked about the bet by host Keyshawn Johnson, he clearly wasn’t very comfortable talking about the subject. 

“Man, he wasn’t supposed to tell nobody,” Daniels said, before admitting, “We got a little something going on.”

It seems the only reason Daniels was willing to talk about it is because Nabers had previously mentioned the bet on another podcast. 

“I mean, he put it out there, so it’s like I can’t say he cap, so,” Daniels said. 

The bet became public in late April after Nabers went on “The Pivot” podcast shortly after getting drafted by the Giants with the sixth overall pick. During that conversation, Nabers said the bet involved $10,000 in cold hard cash. 

“Going against him is gonna be fun,” Nabers said of playing against Daniels, via the New York Daily News. “We got a bet going for Rookie of the Year. Whoever loses gotta pay, I think it’s $10,000 cash.”

The reason this became an issue is because players aren’t supposed to be betting on anything involving the NFL. If Nabers walked into a sportsbook and bet $10,000 on himself to win rookie of the year, he would be facing a lengthy suspension. Making a bet with another player isn’t the same thing, but it likely would have violated the NFL’s gambling policy, which prohibits all personnel from betting on the NFL

“All NFL Personnel are prohibited from placing, soliciting, or facilitating any bet, whether directly or through a third party, on any NFL game, practice or other event (e.g., draft or combine),” the policy states. 

If Nabers and Daniels made the bet before the draft, they might have been able to argue that the NFL’s gambling policy didn’t apply to them since they weren’t technically in the NFL yet, but instead of going that route, the two made the safe decision to simply call off the bet. 

Both Nabers and Daniels are viewed as one of the top six favorites in the preseason odds for rookie of the year. Here’s a look at the current odds for the award (via BetMGM):

Although Nabers has longer odds, he might actually bet be a safer bet and that’s because Daniels will have to win the starting QB job in Washington before he can be considered a viable rookie of the year candidate. Right now, he’s not 100% sure he’ll even be the Week 1 starter. 

“Do I anticipate (starting Week 1)? I mean, I’m confident in my abilities, but that’s a decision that they’ve got to make,” Daniels told Keyshawn during the same podcast. “That’s above me.”

With Daniels on the Commanders and Nabers on the Giants, the two rookies will be facing each other twice in 2024. They’ll find out when those games will be happening when the 2024 NFL schedule is released on May 15

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