The Jacksonville Jaguars have added a wide receiver at the trade deadline, but not one who will help in 2022.
The Jags have acquired suspended wide receiver Calvin Ridley from the Atlanta Falcons, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported on Tuesday, per sources informed of the situation. The Falcons' trade return is two future draft picks that can range from a maximum compensation of a 2023 fifth-rounder and a 2024 second-round pick, which will be conditional upon Ridley's reinstatement.
Should Ridley be reinstated past a certain date, the 2023 fifth-round pick will turn into a sixth-rounder, per Rapoport. If Ridley makes the team in 2024, the second pick will be worth at least a fourth-rounder. A playing-time milestone converts the pick into a third-rounder and the Jaguars will give up a 2024 second-round pick if the team strikes a long-term deal with Ridley.
Jacksonville has since announced the trade.
"We are excited to welcome Calvin Ridley to our organization and the Duval community," said Jaguars general manager Trent Baalke, via the team's website. "This is an opportunity to add a proven playmaker to our already talented wide receiver room as we continue to build our roster for 2023 and beyond. We are looking forward to finishing strong this season and integrating Calvin into our program at the appropriate time."
In March, Ridley was suspended through at least the 2022 season for betting on NFL games during the 2021 season when he was away from the club's facility on the non-football illness list.
Ridley can petition for reinstatement on or after Feb. 15, 2023.
It's a bold move for the Jags, who desperately needed to add speed and a receiver who could generate separation for Trevor Lawrence. While it won't help the 2-6 Jags this season, it's a 2023 play for a difference-making talent that Doug Pederson's club lacks on the outside. Pairing the former first-round pick and Christian Kirk is a good start and should not stop the Jags from potentially adding another receiver in the draft.
Ridley's future in Atlanta looked uncertain even before the year-long suspension. The 27-year-old announced on Oct. 31, 2021, that he was stepping away from the team to focus on his "mental wellbeing."
Given Falcons head coach Arthur Smith's run-first, run-second, and, if possible, run-third offense, along with the assets invested in Drake London and Kyle Pitts, it seemed likely the Falcons would trade Ridley at some point before the 2023 draft. On Tuesday, they found a deal with Jacksonville they couldn't pass up.
With his contract tolling through the suspension, Ridley is set to play on the fifth year of his rookie contract, worth $11.116 million in 2023.