Calvin Ridley Rumors: Exec Thinks 2nd-Round Pick 'Sweet Spot' in Trade for Falcons WR

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 18, 2022

Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley prepares for a play during the first half of an NFL football game against the New York Giants, Sunday, Sept. 26, 2021, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
AP Photo/Seth Wenig

The Atlanta Falcons could look to trade receiver Calvin Ridley after he played just five games in 2021.

ESPN's Jeremy Fowler reported the "market would be robust" for Ridley with the New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints and Miami Dolphins listed as potential landing spots.

One league executive projected that a conditional second-round pick that could become a first based on playing time would be a "sweet spot" for Ridley in a potential trade.

Ridley missed 12 games last season and stepped away from the team in October to focus on his "mental well-being."

He finished the year with 31 catches for 281 yards and two touchdowns.

The 27-year-old has been a difference-maker when on the field, totaling 90 catches for 1,374 yards and nine touchdowns across 15 games in 2020. His 91.6 receiving yards per game ranked fourth in the NFL.

Ridley has also had a nose for the end zone with 26 touchdown receptions in his first three seasons.

Atlanta might want to keep the talented receiver to improve an offense that finished 26th in the league in points scored this season, although people around the NFL believe a trade is more likely.

"Atlanta is cash-strapped and needs pieces along the offensive line, so they could use the draft capital," an NFC scout told Fowler.

Per Spotrac, Ridley has an $11.1 million cap hit in 2022, the final year of his rookie contract.

Teams might be cautious about trading for a wideout who missed so much time this past season, but a conditional pick could lead to an agreement for both sides.

The Indianapolis Colts similarly traded a conditional second-round draft pick to the Philadelphia Eagles for Carson Wentz last offseason, which became a first-rounder when the quarterback appeared in 75 percent of the team's offensive snaps.