When the Falcons drafted Kyle Pitts, many analysts and fans were salivating at the thought of Matt Ryan throwing to a receiving core comprised of Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, and Kyle Pitts. Fast forward to Week 18, and things look pretty different. Jones forced his way out of Atlanta after a falling out with ownership, and Ridley stepped away from football entirely just a handful of games into the season.
The Falcons have been without Ridley since Week 9 when it was announced hours before the Carolina Panthers game that he wouldn’t be available. Shortly after, it was revealed that he would be taking a leave of absence to focus on his mental well-being, explaining his decision in a statement posted to social media.
— CALVIN RIDLEY (@CalvinRidley1) October 31, 2021
It has been quite some time since Ridley announced his leave, but there haven’t been any updates since then. Arthur Smith has answered the media’s questions regarding the situation in the same manner since Week 9 — there would be no update on Ridley’s status, nor would he speculate on a potential return. However, there is some speculation coming from a reliable source.
On the Dukes and Bell show, Steve Wyche told the hosts that he thinks Ridley’s future with the Falcons is in jeopardy. Both parties have been silent, which could mean both sides are looking for a fresh start.
Asked if Calvin Ridley’s future with the Falcons is in jeopardy @wyche89 tells @MikeBellATL & @putemupcdukes “I’d think so. The fact that he and the team have been so quiet and he hasn’t surfaced, it appears like both sides could be looking for a fresh start.” #dirtybirds
— DukesandBell929 (@DukesandBell929) January 4, 2022
It isn’t coming from the team or Ridley’s camp, so we can’t be sure; however, Wyche is a credible reporter that wouldn’t put something in the ether that he didn’t believe to be true. The Falcons could explore trading Ridley this offseason to acquire more draft capital as the new regime looks to build a consistently competitive roster. We’ll keep you updated at SportsTalkATL on the situation as it unfolds.
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