Midway through the Falcons’ 2021 season, Ridley was excused to address a personal matter and missed the team’s trip to London. While he returned a week later, the Pro Bowl wide receiver then stepped away from football on Oct. 31 to address his mental health.
- Calvin Ridley stats (2020): 90 receptions, 1,374 receiving yards and nine touchdowns
What many believed would be a short-term absence resulted in Ridley missing the remainder of the season. Atlanta also didn’t provide any clarity on his status for 2022 after Week 18, resulting in reports that Ridley wants a fresh start and will seek a trade this offseason.
An NFL executive told ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler that the Falcons could net a conditional 2023 second-round pick for their star offensive weapon. If Ridley meets the conditions, either statistics or games played, then Atlanta would receive a 2023 first-round pick instead.
While Ridley would only be a rental, playing out the last year of his contract, any team acquiring him would certainly push for a contract extension. A second-team All-Pro selection in 2020, Ridley averaged 91.6 yards per game in his last full season and scored 26 touchdowns in his first three years with the Falcons.
It’s worth noting that Ridley doesn’t have any ill will towards the Falcons’ organization, but reporting indicates it just isn’t the right fit for him personally. After dedicating months to addressing his mental-health struggles, a new environment could be exactly what the 27-year-old needs.
Assuming the Falcons grant an eventual trade request, there will be no shortage of suitors offering a top Day 2 pick in the 2022 NFL Draft or 2023 NFL Draft for the star wide receiver.