Falcons Trade Rumors: Is Calvin Ridley Worth A 1st-Round Pick?

Calvin Ridley trade worth

Getty Calvin Ridley #18 and Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons.

The days of Calvin Ridley repping a No. 18 Atlanta Falcons jersey could be in the rearview mirror as several NFL experts suspect he is looking for a “fresh start” elsewhere.

If that is the case, that means that the Falcons will be on the search for a trade partner this offseason–meaning they will want to get the best deal they can get for giving up their No. 1 wide receiver.

So, the big question is, what is Ridley worth?

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Ridley Might Be Worth a 1st-Round Pick

Personally, I am no expert when it comes to trades and especially in this special scenario where the Falcons’ star stepped away in the midst of the 2021 season.

Since Ridley didn’t play out the entire year, his trade value may have gone down––making him a potential bargain for buyers.

However, I asked those who have been hanging around the NFL a lot longer than I have.

There were some mixed responses.

The Falcons Wire’s Deen Worley believes a first-round pick is possible, but Ridley would have to prove himself:

“Conditional first for next year based on playtime and maybe production? Sure. A straight-up first-round pick? Absolutely not. No team is going to give a straight first for a guy who could sit out at any moment’s notice. That’s a big risk for any team to gamble on.”

The term ‘conditional draft pick’ means it would be based on Ridley’s overall 2022 performance as to whether or not Atlanta would get a first-round pick.

Sports Illustrated’s Dave Halcomb chimed in to also say that he’s worth it, however, the team would certainly want his word that he’s mentally ready to play all season:

“I would say for sure they can. But teams will probably want reassurance from Ridley that he’s going to return first before trading for him.”

And finally, Damski of The Falcons Nest Podcast believes there is a team out there who would throw a first-round pick Atlanta’s way. . .no questions asked:

“Yes! Absolutely, NFL values elite separators and that’s Ridley. League won’t dock him for caring about his mental health. On the field, Ridley is a fantastic player and a leader. He for sure can net that.”


Whoever Picks Up Ridley Is Getting a Bargain Pricetag

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.

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. His first 1,000-yard season came during the 2020 season and he would have had one in 2019, but an abdominal injury cut his season short. If his mental health is in check and he’s ready to eturn, you can expect big things from the rising star wideout in 2022.

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