The Falcons and Eagles would look vastly different if Calvin Ridley was never suspended

One decision can have a drastic impact on the future and that is certainly the case for the Atlanta Falcons and Philadelphia Eagles because of Calvin Ridley's decision to gamble
Jacksonville Jaguars Offseason Workout
Jacksonville Jaguars Offseason Workout / James Gilbert/GettyImages

Ever heard of the butterfly effect? If you haven't then allow me to summarize; it is the concept that details how one little decision or event (like a butterfly flapping its wings) can have a huge impact on things later on. This is a concept that can be applied to Calvin Ridley's small decision to wager some money back in 2021.

As you likely know, back in 2021 Falcons' star wide receiver took a mental health break from football. During his break he made a decision that he later apologized for; he placed some money down on NFL games. One of those games was his current team (the Falcons) playing his future team (the Jaguars). That slight decision completely changed the future of many different parties and we are going to break down everything that would be different if Ridley had stayed away from sports betting.

The summary of what happened with Atlanta Falcons star WR Calvin Ridley

If you think back to March of 2022, breaking news dropped out of nowhere that Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley was indefinitely suspended from the NFL for gambling and wouldn't even be eligible for reinstatement until the following year. It really caught all of us off guard, to say the least.

Also Read: Falcons' best player in each of the past ten seasons

Ridley was entering the fifth year of his rookie contract and there were rumors swirling that the Falcons were looking to move him.

Well, as we would later find out, the Falcons had cut off talks with other teams—particularly the Philadelphia Eagles—when they caught wind that the NFL was investigating Calvin Ridley. The other teams had no clue why they were cut off but they would soon find out that the Falcons were being very honorable by not trading a player who was doomed to be suspended.

The Atlanta Falcons and Philadelphia Eagles would look totally different if Calvin Ridley wasn't suspended

NFL reporter Jay Glazer, shortly after the news dropped about Calvin Ridley's indefinite suspension, reported that the Philadelphia Eagles were primed to acquire the Atlanta Falcons' superstar wide receiver.

So, let's brainstorm how different things would look if Calvin Ridley never bet on games, or, dare I say, if he got away with betting on games.

The Falcons would have had an extra first-round pick, at least

First things first, the asking price was rumored to start with a first-round pick. The Falcons would have likely had an extra first-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. While we don't know what pick it would have been exactly, the educated guess would be that it would have been the 18th overall pick, and possibly more.

The reason for that is that the Eagles had multiple first-round picks and they used one to trade for A.J. Brown. That is not a coincidence, they were clearly looking for help at receiver and Ridley was their initial choice. They also sent the 101st pick to the Titans for Brown.

The Falcons could have had these players instead of their current ones

Some of the notable players who would have been available at pick 18 for Atlanta are Kenny Pickett, Jermaine Johnson II, and Quay Walker. I also get the gut feeling that they might have considered trading up to grab Kyle Hamilton who ended up going to the Ravens at pick 14.

The funny thing about each of those players is that you can eliminate another player who is presently on the roster. Kenny Pickett equals no Desmond Ridder, Jermaine Johnson equals no Arnold Ebiketie, Quay Walker equals no Troy Andersen, and Kyle Hamilton likely equals no Jessie Bates signing.

The Eagles wouldn't have A.J. Brown and the Falcons wouldn't have Jeff Okudah

The Eagles obviously wouldn't have A.J. Brown and the Falcons wouldn't have Jeff Okudah because they used a pick they acquired from trading Ridley to the Jaguars to trade for Okudah. The Falcons also wouldn't have a future conditional pick that could turn into a second-round pick.

This is all so fascinating to me. Rarely do you have enough information to evaluate how different things would look if one little decision was made differently.

Everything worked out for all three teams and Calvin Ridley

The ironic part about all of this is that everyone is happy with how things turned out; the Eagles are glad they have A.J. Brown over Calvin Ridley since Brown is a better complement to Devonta Smith, the Falcons are happy to have Jeff Okudah and a player TBD, and the Jaguars are certainly glad they have Calvin Ridley, and Ridley is glad that he has a fresh start in Jacksonville.

As they say, all is well that ends well.