Atlanta Falcons have to secure Calvin Ridley for more than his fifth-year.
To say Calvin Ridley is important to the long-term success of the Atlanta Falcons would be a huge understatement, and the franchise has until May 3rd to guarantee his fifth year – however, it should never come to that, he should get an outright extension soon.
The fifth-year option amount is calculated by the NFL and is based on two different criteria of that player’s first three seasons – playing time and Pro-Bowl selections. Since Calvin Ridley was selected to one Pro-Bowl in the first three seasons, he is looking at a guaranteed number of $14.3 million for his fifth season.
However, it should never get to that.
While Atlanta Falcons’ general manager, terry Fontenot, has said that tough decisions are going to be made and that his staff has to find diamonds in the rough, letting Calvin Ridley walk is not one of those tough decisions.
Under no circumstances should this team not at least pick up his option – though he should just be extended outright.
Julio Jones isn’t going to be around forever – whether he is healthy or not. While Falcons owner Arthur Blank has said he wants Julio to play his entire career in Atlanta, he has also said that personnel decisions will be made by Fontenot.
The truth of the matter is that the Atlanta Falcons cannot spend $40 million a season on two wide receivers and that means one of the two of them will be out after 2022 season – given their age differences, Julio will more than likely be the one out the door in order to pay Calvin Ridley beyond his fifth-year option.
Arthur Smith has stated that he is excited to work with Calvin Ridley and that means we should all be excited to see what he has in store for the star receiver. Hopefully, we will get to see Smith put Ridley into position each week to take advantage of mismatches – something that former Falcons offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter never did.
Money is tight and has created a major roster issue for the Falcons but Calvin Ridley’s extension has to get done regardless of what it takes. He is the future of this franchise and someone that has to be in this locker room if the Falcons are going to win a title in the next five years.