The saga between the Falcons and Calvin Ridley ended this offseason when the team traded away the former first-round pick for a mid-round pick and a conditional pick that could end up being a second-rounder if the Jaguars and Ridley eventually reach a contract extension. At the time of the move, it seemed like an inevitability, given everything that transpired. But with the way Calvin Ridley has looked early on this offseason, is it possible the Falcons end up regretting their decision?
Regret may be the wrong word, but #1 wide receivers don’t grow on trees, and it has since been revealed that there was a lot going on in Ridley’s life prior to being suspended a year for violating the NFL’s gambling policy. There was no bad blood between the two sides. So much so, that the Falcons even went to Ridley with six or seven teams that made fair trade offers for him, allowing him to pick his destination.
Ridley ended up picking the Jaguars, who feel like they have struck gold. He very well could end up establishing himself as one of the top wide receivers in the league again with Trevor Lawrence throwing him passes, and Jacksonville only had to give up a second-round pick and a mid-rounder for his services.
That’s a bargain for a receiver of his caliber based on other trades that have occurred for elite wide receivers in this league. Just last April, the Eagles traded the 18th and 101st pick in the draft for A.J. Brown, who was looking for a new contract from the Titans.
The Falcons aren’t going to be throwing the ball around the yard often with Desmond Ridder under center this season, but there is always value in a pass-catcher of Ridley’s caliber. Not to mention, wide receiver is one of the more glaring holes on the team, and the Falcons will have plenty of cap space to spend in the coming years that could have been used to extend Ridley.
Terry Fontenot and Arthur Smith were stuck in between a rock and a hard place. They ultimately went with the decision they felt was best for the team moving forward. Whether that was the correct one is something we could be talking about for years down the road. On the latest episode of SportsTalkATL, we talk about the Calvin Ridley situation, and whether there was a better way the Falcons could have possibly gone about it.
Photographer: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire