Calvin Ridley Trade: Falcons get last laugh over Jaguars

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Just as I knocked Terry Fontenot’s trade résumé, Calvin Ridley shocked the NFL world and signed a deal with the Titans, spurning the Jaguars.

It’s time for me to eat crow. The Ridley trade consisted of a conditional fourth-round pick that would turn into a third-round pick if the receiver hit certain playing time marks in 2023, which he did. That third-rounder turned into a second if he and Jacksonville agreed to a contract extension before the new league year, which was yesterday at 4 pm.

It seemed obvious that Trent Baalke and Ridley would wait until the new league year passed to officially ink a deal. Why would Ridley help his old team in spite of his new one? Why would Baalke willingly give up a more valuable draft pick?

When it looked like he’d return to the Jags, a lot of Falcons fans complained about the Jags GM negotiating in bad faith when in reality he was doing what any other GM would do. The fact is, at that point, it seemed Fontenot had just negotiated a bad deal.

Well, that’s not the case now because Ridley agreed to a four-year, $92 million contract, including $50 million guaranteed, with the Titans, leaving the Jaguars empty-handed and down a third-round pick. Jacksonville traded Atlanta a Day 2 and Day 3 pick for 76 receptions for 1,016 yards and eight touchdowns from Ridley.

That’s a steep price to pay for a pass catcher that many consider not to be a WR1, so it’s likely that Baalke was never going to go that high, but it’s still funny to laugh at as Falcons fans.

The Falcons came out of the Calvin Ridley trade looking alright, and Terry Fontenot’s résumé returns to form.

Photographer: Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire

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