On Monday, the Atlanta Falcons announced they have picked up wide receiver Calvin Ridley‘s fifth-year option. According to NFL insider Adama Schefter, the Falcons will pay the rising star $11.1 million next season, which is now fully guaranteed.
Falcons picked up WR Calvin Ridley’s, $11.1 million fifth-year option.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) May 3, 2021
Ridley is ready for more than just the Falcons exercising his fifth-year.
Back in January, Dave Choate of the Falcoholic wrote a piece of whether or not the Falcons should pick up Ridley’s option and it immediately caught the third-year receiver’s attention.
“Might as well extend, I’m ready lol,” Ridley replied on Twitter.
Might as well extend I’m ready lol
— CALVIN RIDLEY (@CalvinRidley1) January 28, 2021
To make it better, Falcons running back Todd Gurley replied in full support:
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Ridley Went Beyond his 2021 Goal
During his 2019 campaign, Ridley showcased an impressive season before he was placed on the injured reserve towards the end of the year. He finished 2019 reeling in 63 catches for 866 yards and seven touchdowns in 13 games and 10 starts.
He expected to reach 1,000 yards that season but he didn’t so, he made it a goal to do so in 2020.
“Last year, I was right there,” Ridley said prior to the start of the 2020 season, via the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I got hurt three games out. I was going to get 1,000 yards last year. I got hurt and I’m in the hospital that same day, my agent came. I said, ‘Man, I would have got 1,000, but I’m out for the year and I don’t have that 1,000.’ Now, I have to get it.”
Ridley went beyond his goal this past season playing in all but one game and posted 90 catches for 1,374 yards and nine touchdowns.
Over three seasons in the league, Ridley has 217 receptions, 3,061 yards, and 26 touchdowns and proved the Falcons passing game is still top-notch without Jones as the No. 1 option, making a strong case as to why the Falcons need to lock him up for the long run.
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Will the Falcons Trade Julio Jones?
Rumors have been spiraling that the Falcons could be trading veteran wideout Julio Jones, however, it could difficult to do that.
Falcons GM Terry Fontenot addressed the rumors last week in an interview with Fox 5’s sports reporter Justin Felder.
“You have to listen if people call, so, on any player,” said Fontenot. “And especially, we are in a difficult cap situation. That’s just the circumstance and that’s not a surprise for us
The first-year GM also added that the Falcons have a lot of respect for the longtime receiver and his worth, but they’re still going to look at all possible options and do what is best for the organization.
“That particular player [Jones], we hold him in high regard, he’s special — what he’s done and what he continues to do here,” explained Fontenot. “But we have to consider any players if it’s right for the team because we have to do what’s best for the organization.”
If Jones is traded after June 1st, the Falcons have a chance to save $15 million in salary-cap space and if they were to let him go before, then the franchise would take a $23 million cap hit.
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