Calvin Ridley‘s gambling suspension, which comes after his extended 2021 hiatus, has thrown his career off course. But the former first-round pick had generated trade interest prior to the ban.
The Eagles discussed Ridley with the Falcons, according to Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer, who notes the sides nearly completed a deal (Twitter link). The Falcons backed out of the talks, with Glazer adding the NFC South team did not say why. The looming suspension, which became known this week, almost certainly played a role in scuttling the trade. Indeed, the Falcons learning of this significant Ridley hurdle factored into the trade not happening, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com tweets, noting the Eagles were in the lead among Ridley suitors this offseason.
While the Eagles have used first-round picks on wide receivers in each of the past two years, they can still be considered needy at the position. DeVonta Smith has fared far better than Jalen Reagor, and despite the NFL expanding its season to 17 games, Philly only saw one wideout (Smith) surpass 650 receiving yards in 2021. The Eagles also appear to have whiffed with their 2019 second-round pick of J.J. Arcega-Whiteside. It is safe to say the Eagles will add a notable name here this offseason, potentially with one of their three first-round picks. But Ridley is certainly off the radar for the foreseeable future.
Ridley joined Hall of Famers Paul Hornung and Alex Karras, former Colts first-round quarterback Art Schlichter and cornerback Josh Shaw as NFL players suspended for gambling. Ridley’s fifth-year option will toll to 2023, keeping him tied to the Falcons. Though, it is far from certain if he will ever play with Atlanta again. Ridley will be 28 when next eligible to play.
After surpassing 800 yards in each of his first two seasons, Ridley broke out for 1,374 and nine touchdown catches in 2020, a season in which Julio Jones struggled with a hamstring injury. Ridley landed on the Falcons’ Non-Football Injury list last year, stepping away from the team because of a mental health issue. Trade rumblings regarding Ridley surfaced in January, and the Eagles were one of the teams to pursue a swap. But the Alabama alum’s stock has undoubtedly taken a hit this week, leaving the Falcons shorthanded at receiver. Russell Gage is set to hit free agency next week.
14 comments on “Eagles, Falcons Nearly Completed Calvin Ridley Trade”
Another WR that Hurts couldn’t get the ball to
That’s funny! But sucks at the same time
that’s so F’in Philly sports fans luck! come to find out we had to deal with Atlanta for Ridley until Atlanta backed out, and then have a deal with Seattle for Russell Wilson until Wilson vetoed it..Ahhhhhh
Is the Wilson thing true? Hadn’t seen that.
Both DC and the Eagles went after Wilson. He declined them because he had a no trade clause. He got to choose where he wanted to go.
Dude really threw away his career for a few bets? SMH
Quitter! Mentally sound enough to gamble, just not play for a losing team, sure.
Even without the suspension, I wondered whether or not Ridley would even want to return. Had they cleared this trade with him? That would seem to be the first step that Philadelphia would have taken, right?
He never retired, nor have I read anywhere he was leaning towards retirement.
I hope he has cleared any mental health issues he claims to have had. But it seems more like a bogus claim to me. Bet (say a ‘mere’ $1500) he’ll play in 2023. Losing $11m has to hurt.
Only the Eagles would try to trade for a football player who doesn’t play football.
Bet on it.
Something kind of stinks about the Ridley story. Makes me wonder if the NFL is participating in another cover-up.
Please do tell what other cover-up you think they’re involved in. Tin hat much?