Calvin Ridley Free Agency: Falcons GM Terry Fontenot’s trade résumé takes hit

NFL: OCT 15 Colts at Jaguars

The Falcons traded Calvin Ridley to the Jaguars last offseason, but it may not have been one of Terry Fontenot’s brightest moments.

Jacksonville agreed to send Atlanta a 2024 conditional fourth-round pick that turned into a third-rounder when Ridley hit certain playing time milestones, and it could turn into a second if the two sides agree to a contract extension before the new league year today at 4 pm.

Obviously, Trent Baalke recognizes the situation and would prefer to sign Ridley while also keeping this year’s second-round pick. There’s absolutely no incentive for the Jags or Ridley to agree to a deal before the new league year, as Albert Bereet points out.

The Falcons did the ethical thing in this situation.

With knowledge of Ridley’s impending suspension from gambling on NFL games, Fontenot ceased trade talks with Howie Roseman of the Eagles in good faith. When he was finally reinstated, Fontenot wanted to do right by Calvin Ridley, giving him the opportunity to pick where he was traded.

Fontenot agreed to a deal with Baalke with conditions, and it’s biting the Falcons in the ass. There’s no two ways about it. Some fans might boo-hoo about Jacksonville’s GM dealing in bad faith, but what they should really be complaining about is Fontenot agreeing to the trade in the first place.

We don’t know what was on the table from other clubs, and Fontenot did send Ridley to a place he actually wanted to be, but there’s no doubt that other GMs would do the exact same thing as Baalke.

So, instead of pointing the finger at the Jaguars, Falcons fans should take a look at their own house before complaining. All’s fair in love and war. The NFL is a business, and Fontenot learned a valuable lesson in this moment.

Photographer: David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire

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