Promising Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley has been MIA since stepping away from the team back on Halloween.
There have been no comments made publicly by Ridley or his camp, but there has been rampant speculation about his future in the NFL.
That has only been fueled by the talented wide receiver’s social media activity.
While he hasn’t posted anything since releasing a statement where he announced he was stepping away from football to focus on his “mental wellbeing”, Ridley did like several tweets of other people suggesting he should join their NFL teams.
After that gained some traction, Ridley went back and unliked those tweets.
On Wednesday, February 9 Falcons ownership finally broke their silence to address the Ridley situation.
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Owner Breaks Silence on Situation
Falcons owner Arthur Blank spoke with the team website to address the Ridley situation:
“We love the young man. 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.”
Blank completely left the door open on a trade and that likely perked the ears of every team in the NFL.
Those comments will likely continue to add fuel to the fire that Ridley has already played his final snaps for the Falcons organization.
The 27-year-old was originally selected with the No. 26 overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft out of Alabama.
He has quickly developed a reputation as a supreme route runner and earned second-team All-Pro honors in 2020.
Throughout his four-year professional career, Ridley has developed a knack for getting in the endzone with 28 touchdowns. His best year came during the 2020 season with 90 receptions for 1,374 yards and he averaged 15.3 yards per catch.
Atlanta has already exercised his fifth-year option and he is set to be a free agent in 2023. With only one year left on his deal, the trade doors are wide open heading into a critical offseason.
Jets Remain in Top Position
It is still unclear when and if Ridley will be returning to the gridiron any time soon. Although if he returns and wishes to move on, the Jets remain in one of the best positions to land the talented receiver.
The Jets are armed with four picks in the top-38, but Ridley’s potential trade value has been argued and debated on social media.
Jets beat reporter DJ Bien-Aime of the New York Daily News said he “wouldn’t be mad” if the team used a “first or second-rounder” to acquire the dynamic wideout:
While others have scoffed at that value like Lead NFL Draft Analyst Connor Rogers of Bleacher Report:
Connor Hughes of The Athletic recently shared in a mailbag that trading a first-rounder for Ridley would be worth it. He compared it to the Stefon Diggs — Buffalo Bills trade as a baseline for these potential negotiations.
Whatever way you slice it, the impact of a potential No. 1 wide receiver in this Jets offense can’t be undersold. Ridley is a dynamic player that has a better resume than any Jets receiver over the last seven years.
If he shakes free general manager Joe Douglas is going to have to think long and hard about pulling the trigger on a potential deal.