And things just got a bit more surreal when Ridley favorited a tweet that may or may not have hinted at where he prefers to land if he does get traded in 2022.
Of course, it could have meant nothing or it was simply an accident, but Ridley — who was born in and spent his high school years in Florida — was not quick enough to unfavorite it after fans took notice and screenshotted it.
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Falcons & Ridley Looking for ‘Fresh Start’
NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo and Steve Wyche were the first to report on January 15 that Ridley’s days in red and black may be over.
“For the Atlanta Falcons and Calvin Ridley, the wide receiver that we haven’t seen since October 2021, when he announced he was stepping away to focus on his mental health, the Falcons are saying that situation has not changed at this point but they are still holding out hope that they will have Calvin Ridley for this upcoming season,” Garafolo said on Good Morning Football.
He continued, “That said … the facts there doesn’t sound like there’s been a lot of communication between Ridley’s camp and the team, this according to sources that I have spoken to. And at some point, the Falcons are gonna have to get in touch with him and have some conversations, with that camp, to figure out if it’s feasible whether he could come back.”
As for Wyche, he joined the Dukes & Bell podcast where he shared his best guess on the potential fate of Ridley.
“I don’t know everything that’s going on here,” Wyche said. “But for him not to service and for the team not to say anything about him all season long … leads me to believe that at some point maybe his side is like ‘he needs a fresh start’ or the Falcons might be like, ‘hey, we need a fresh start.’”
Ridley Comes With A Bargain Price Tag
Since Ridley didn’t play out the 2021 season, his trade value has gone down significantly, making him a potential bargain for buyers.
Atlanta picked up the option year on Ridley’s rookie contract, which is worth $11.1 million in 2022, according to Spotrac. However, since he was placed on the non-football injury list for the 2021 season, his fourth year can roll over, meaning they will owe him just $1.97 million.
So, the Falcons, or whoever ends up with Ridley next season, will be able to control him until at least 2023 at a bargain price of $13 million. As far as what Atlanta would be getting in return if they do end up trading him…a second, plus a third-round pick have been thrown around in various trade proposals.
In the five games Ridley played in 2021, he caught 31 passes for 281 yards (9.1 average) and 2 touchdowns. Through four NFL seasons, Ridley has recorded a total of 248 catches for 3,342 yards (13.5 average) and 28 touchdowns.