The Cleveland Browns need to improve the wide receiver room this offseason and a name that could be an interesting option for the team is Atlanta Falcons receiver Calvin Ridley.
The Browns were among time teams selected as = top landing spot for Ridley by Cody Benjamin of CBS Sports.
Cleveland has bigger issues to address than WR — namely, Baker Mayfield’s standing at QB and Kevin Stefanski’s approach as head coach. But Jarvis Landry is a potential cap casualty, and the Browns are lacking consistent pop out wide. If they want to remain in the hunt, Ridley would offer the big-play talent that Odell Beckham Jr. was supposed to.
Other landing spots listed for Ridley included: the Colts, 49ers, Raiders, Jaguars, Bears, Dolphins, Eagles and Patriots.
Trade for Ridley Would Have Huge Upside for Browns
Ridley played just five games this season, stepping away after Week 7 to deal with a personal matter. Ridley managed 31 catches for 281 yards and a pair of scores last season. However, he has a massive ceiling. In 2020 he put together a 90 catch, 1,374-yard season with nine touchdowns.
While the Falcons will not disclose what Ridley is dealing with, they continue to support him through it.
“It really hasn’t changed,” Fontenot said, per the team’s officialy site. “As an organization, we’ve done the best job we could to support Calvin and do everything we can for him. I know he made the statement when he did, and that we made a statement during the season as well. Up to this point, nothing has really changed.”
If Ridley does return to football, he’s under contract for one more season. After that, he’d be a free agent and likely due a pretty large number. If the Browns are intent on making a run at a Super Bowl and giving Mayfield more weapons to work with, Ridley would be a tremendous upgrade.
Browns Have Decision to Make on Jarvis Landry
The Browns parted ways with Beckham during the season after some trade deadline drama, which left the load of the lead pass-catching duties firmly on Landry’s shoulders. While Landry can gobble up catches, he’s not an overwhelming deep threat. And as Benjamin mentioned, Landry could be let go this offseason for little consequence to the Browns cap space. He’s due around $16 million next season but his dead cap hit would be $1.5 million if he’s released.
“I think everybody on this call knows how much respect we have for Jarvis Landry and really what he has meant for our team and organization over the past several years,” Browns general manager Andrew Berry told reporters on Tuesday. “He has been a productive player for us really since the day that we traded for him, and he has been really a key piece in terms of how the team and organization has evolved over the last several years.”
Landry missed five games this season, which led to the lowest totals of his career. He caught 52 balls for 570 yards and a pair of touchdowns. There could also be the issue that Landry simply doesn’t want to return to Cleveland without Beckham by his side and his numbers dropping.