The Atlanta Falcons made a surprising move at the deadline trading suspended receiver Calvin Ridley in exchange for draft compensation that will be determined by Ridley’s time with Jacksonville.
If the receiver plays next season and eventually signs an extension with Jacksonville Atlanta could end up with a 2nd round pick for a player who is suspended for at least the remainder of the season. It is a solid deal though there is no question the Falcons sold low on a receiver who was considered one of the best in the league two years ago.
This move for Atlanta is simple, open up over $10-million in cap space for next season and continue to cut ties with players who are not a part of the long-term plan. Ridley was a great second option when Julio Jones was still Julio, however, after struggling last season early Ridley stepped away from the team to focus on his health before being suspended for the following season.
He was a huge question mark before the suspension and remains a mystery heading into a contract year. With Drake London and Kyle Pitts, both still on their rookie deals the Falcons have more than enough star power at the receiver position.
Trading Ridley was the right decision though a surprising one considering Ridley’s value is likely at its lowest since Atlanta drafted him.
For Jacksonville, the fit is obvious acquiring a proven receiver in need of a fresh start to give Trevor Lawrence a much-needed option outside of Christian Kirk. Ridley finishes his time with the Falcons with 3,342-receiving yards and 28-touchdowns.
Atlanta was expected to make this move in the off-season before Ridley’s poor decision caused the suspension that leaves his future still up in the air. This deal has been a long time coming for a front office that clearly never planned on keeping Ridley long term.