Calvin Ridley’s days in red and black are rumored to be coming to an end this offseason, but where he lands next remains to be seen.
Ridley has been linked to several trade proposals, but in a recent column on “Blockbuster NFL Trades We Want to See in 2022 Offseason,” Bleacher Report’s Kristopher Knox has the All-Pro wideout landing in Cleveland with the Baker Mayfield.
That is, of course, if the Browns decide to ride with Mayfield instead of looking for his replacement, Knox notes.
“If the Browns don’t upgrade at quarterback and decide to run it back with Mayfield, they’ll need to add a legitimate No. 1 receiver,” Knox wrote.
“Mayfield’s injury, which required surgery in the offseason, had a big impact on his performance in 2021. A lackluster receiving corps didn’t help, either. Odell Beckham Jr. never meshed with Kevin Stefanski’s offense and was released following the trade deadline. Donovan Peoples-Jones led Cleveland with a mere 597 receiving yards. Atlanta Falcons wideout Calvin Ridley could be the top target Cleveland needs.”
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What Atlanta Would Reciever From Cleveland
Since Ridley didn’t play out the 2021 season entirely, 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, Knox proposes a conditional 2023 second-round pick.
The term ‘conditional draft pick’ means it will be is based on the performance of the traded player and/or his new team as to which second-round pick (if at all) Atlanta gets.
The Falcons Want Ridley in Atlanta
At the moment, it’s uncertain whether or not Ridley will return to Atlanta or the NFL at all. However, he has a future in Atlanta––if he ultimately wants that.
“We love the young man,” Falcons owner Arthur Blank said of Ridley on Wednesday, February 10 via AtlantaFalcons.com. “He has had a great history in Atlanta. We’d love him to stay in Atlanta. Whether or not he wants to do that — he may decide that he wants a fresh start someplace else. We don’t know that. I don’t know that. I don’t have information to indicate that, but we’ll see how that plays out.
“We’ve been totally supportive in every way that we can be, both emotionally and financially in working with him as well as his agent. We’ll see, but I’m mostly concerned about him as a human being.”
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.
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