After serving a year-long suspension, Calvin Ridley is back on the football field. The Falcons traded the Alabama product to the Jaguars this offseason for a haul that could turn into a second-round pick.
Atlanta received a fifth-round pick so long as he was reinstated, which has come and gone; however, the significant compensation is tied to Ridley’s play in 2023.
The Falcons get a fourth-rounder if he makes the team, which is a guarantee. The club receives a third-rounder if Ridley hits certain unknown playing time marks. And the highest compensation would be a second-rounder if the Jaguaras and Ridley agree to a new deal.
— Jacksonville Jaguars (@Jaguars) July 26, 2023
Doug Pederson standing right at the end of the route. pic.twitter.com/Yiy1tmMD8C
— Jamal St. Cyr (@JStCyrTV) July 26, 2023
Not only does he look 100%, but he also says he feels fully back.
“Like everyone says, I haven’t played football in two years,” Ridley said, via Jeff Howe of The Athletic. “But even when I did play, I know I was a very dominant and very explosive player. Right now, I’m more motivated than ever and ready to get back whatever I lost. I’m around a bunch of great teammates, great coaches, a great facility. I feel the energy. I just want to continue to build and build and build. I love football, man. I’m not here just for the money and all that. I’m here because I love football.”
Ridley posted 90 catches, 1,374 yards and nine touchdowns in 2020 while recently revealing in a letter featured in the Players Tribune that he played that entire season with a broken foot. The 2021 campaign didn’t go how he or the Falcons had hoped, but it seems both sides have come out of the breakup better.
Calvin Ridley, with Trevor Lawrence, looks to return to an All-Pro pass catcher in Jacksonville, and Atlanta seems primed to inherit a premium draft pick.