And so the Calvin Ridley trade rumor saga continues.
“For the Atlanta Falcons and Calvin Ridley, the wide receiver that we haven’t seen since October, 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 Saturday.
Ridley took to Twitter during Atlanta’s Week 8 loss to the Carolina Panthers to announce that he would be stepping away from football, indefinitely. The following week, the Falcons placed him on the non-football injury list and the former first-round pick stayed quiet for the rest of the season.
“That said … the facts are 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,” Garafolo continued. “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.”
ALL the latest Falcons news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Falcons newsletter here!
Garafolo Strongly Agrees With Steve Wyche’s ‘Guess’
“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.’”
Garafolo said he agrees with Wyche on Ridley’s future in Atlanta.
“I agree with Wyche on that one,” he said. “I do believe that a fresh start could be in the cards and maybe the best thing for Ridley. It’s not a situation where he has any ill will toward the organization. There’s just some personal things that sounds like it’s going on and maybe a new location for him would be a good thing. So my educated prediction right now, this is a prediction, it’s not a report but it’s educated, is that Calvin Ridley is elsewhere for the 2022 regular season, but we’ll see how it plays out.”
Ridley’s Last Message
Ridley had a rough start to the season and things got more complicated when he didn’t make the London trip versus the New York Jets due to personal reasons and then didn’t play in Week 8. He made a public announcement on October 31, 2021, about his decision to take a break from football.
“These past few weeks have been very challenging and as much as I’d like to be on the field competing with my teammates, I need to step away from football at this time and focus on my mental wellbeing,” Ridley wrote on Twitter. “This will help me be the best version of myself now and in the future. I want to thank my teammates, the entire Atlanta Falcons organization, our great fans, my friends, and my family for all of their support during this time.”
Through five games in 2021, Ridley caught 31 passes for 281 yards (9.1 average) and two touchdowns. He has recorded a total of 248 catches for 3,342 yards (13.5 average) and 28 touchdowns in four NFL seasons so far.