Despite the swirling speculation surrounding Atlanta Falcons receiver Calvin Ridley we still know surprisingly little about the receiver’s future. What we know for sure is the fact that Ridley wasn’t the receiver Atlanta expected early on this season before stepping away from football for the rest of the year.
Ridley spent his first three seasons with Atlanta establishing himself as a top receiver in football. Benefitting greatly from lining up across from Julio Jones, Ridley often dealt with a team’s second or third best corner and had plenty of chances to impact the game.
Heading into the 2021 season many Falcons fans expected Ridley to step up in place of Julio and his production to improve. Results early on were middling at best as Ridley dropped passes he normally caught and seemed unable to find the burst he had only a season before. All leading up to Ridley stepping away from the game and offering this statement nearly three months ago.
Ridley cites his mental health and need to step away from football and didn’t return to the team for the rest of the season. The Falcons franchise supported Ridley and his teammates sent him well wishes when asked about Ridley’s status.
After Ridley’s statement and the Falcon’s answer to the situation, there is nothing else known about Calvin Ridley. We don’t know if he is willing to return to Atlanta or football whatsoever. Despite recent speculation from NFL pundits that Ridley is on the trade block, there is nothing concrete to suggest Ridley’s future has been determined.
Both this site and many others have speculated on a possible return for the receiver and the teams that could chase Ridley. However, it is important to remember that this isn’t a typical trade situation and may not be a situation that demands a trade at all.
Calvin Ridley’s health and well-being should be put above all else especially a game that at the end of the day as much as we all love is just that, a game.
Ridley isn’t a player who has demanded his way out of Atlanta nor has he spoken publicly to clear up any misconceptions on his future. Until we hear from Ridley himself or the Atlanta Falcons front office it is hard to do anything other than speculate his future.
If he is able and willing to return to Atlanta there is little reason for the Falcons to trade him. They are already desperate at the receiver position and trading a controllable asset like Ridley would be ridiculous unless the receiver has indeed asked for a change of scenery.
As interesting as the rumors surrounding Ridley might be it is hard to take them seriously until we learn more about the situation surrounding the receiver and if he is willing or able to return to football next season.