Ex Falcons first-round pick among free agents to most likely bust

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The Falcons handed out the largest free agent contract of the offseason, inking Kirk Cousins to a $180 million deal at the opening bell.

As he did last offseason, Terry Fontenot came out of the gates sprinting, agreeing to three free agent contracts immediately. Darnell Mooney and Charlie Woerner were the other two.

The Falcons were just one of several clubs to spend big money this offseason, and a familiar face has been included among Sports Illustrated’s free agents who are most likely to bust with their new teams.

1. Calvin Ridley, WR, Tennessee Titans

Ridley left Trevor Lawrence and the Jaguars to be the No. 1 wide receiver for Will Levis and the Titans. There’s nothing wrong with the team adding a dynamic wide receiver to help a second-year quarterback, but they might regret this contract in a year or two.

Ridley, who turns 30 later this year, signed a massive four-year, $92 million contract with the Titans—it’s understandable why the Jaguars didn’t match that price. For that contract, Ridley comes with too many concerns, including age, availability and performance. He played in every game for the Jaguars last season, something he did only once in five seasons with the Falcons. But Ridley struggled to learn Doug Pederson’s offense and had a few costly drops with the Jaguars. Perhaps playing with new Titans coach Brian Callahan will make the Ridley signing worth the risks.

Calvin Ridley agreed to a four-year, $92 million contract, including $50 million guaranteed, with the Titans.

It relates to the Falcons because there was a contingency within the trade in which the Jaguars would send Atlanta a second-round pick if he agreed to a contract extension before hitting free agency.

Jacksonville rolled the dice and lost Ridley to Tennessee as well as their third-round pick to Atlanta. However, the Jaguars are probably fine not paying that price tag. That’s a steep price to pay for a pass catcher that many consider not to be a WR1.

The Titans are actually building a decent foundation around Will Levis. If Calvin Ridley plays up to his capabilities, he’ll make a lot of fans in Tennessee very happy, but to say there isn’t a chance that the former Falcons star pass catcher doesn’t live up to his new deal with the Titans would be naive.

Photographer: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire

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