NFL franchises have until May 3rd to exercise their players’ fifth-year options from the 2018 draft. According to D. Orlando Ledbetter of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Falcons are expected to pick up their first-round pick’s fifth-year option — Calvin Ridley.
— D. Orlando Ledbetter (@DOrlandoAJC) April 28, 2021
Remember, Ridley is currently in the fourth year of his rookie deal, so this option secures him at a price of $11,116,000 for 2022. The NFL deems fifth-year options to be one of several categories based on individual snaps and accolades, and Ridley is of the ‘playtime’ designation.
Playtime: These players will be eligible for a fifth year base salary calculated from the average of the 3rd to 20th highest salaries at their position over the past five seasons, provided that their snap counts over their first three seasons meet one of the following three criteria:
- 75% or greater in two of their first three seasons
- an average of 75% or greater over all three seasons
- 50% or greater over all three seasons
If the former Alabama wideout had made a Pro Bowl, his fifth-year option would’ve increased to $14,340,000 in 2022. What was once a Pro Bowl snub to Falcons fans is now a blessing in disguise for a team in such a difficult financial situation. At just over $11 million for Ridley’s services, Terry Fontenot is getting a bargain. The next step will likely be working towards an extension as Ridley is just entering his prime.