Patriots Pursuing Calvin Ridley; Jaguars Still Aiming To Retain WR

MARCH 12: The Pats and Jags continue to pursue Ridley, according to CBS Sports’ Jonathan Jones, who notes sources around the league point to a darkhorse team being in this mix. Another deep wideout draft class is likely affecting this year’s receiver market as well, though Darnell Mooney fetched a nice haul from the Falcons earlier today.

The Jags still being in this pursuit is interesting, with the team locking in Gabe Davis on Monday. Ridley coming back alongside Davis would point to the Jags, who also have Christian Kirk and Zay Jones under contract, changing up their current WR group.

MARCH 10: Wide receiver changes are expected in New England. After the team’s JuJu Smith-Schuster signing did not produce much of consequence last year, a bigger swing is anticipated once the legal tampering period begins Monday.

The Patriots are expected to pursue Calvin Ridley in free agency,’s Jeremy Fowler notes. The cap-rich team is not known for big free agency spending, save for a few instances (largely 2021), but new faces are running the show. The Eliot Wolf-led operation appears to be aiming for a big upgrade around a to-be-determined starting quarterback.

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Jacksonville is expected to try and retain Ridley, but due to the structure of the trade with Atlanta in 2022, a pre-free agency strike has not been expected. If the Jaguars re-sign Ridley after he hits free agency, they will only owe the Falcons their 2024 third-round pick. If a deal becomes official before Ridley hits the market, Jacksonville owes Atlanta its second-rounder. The team already sent the Falcons a 2022 fifth in this two-pick trade.

With Tee Higgins and Michael Pittman Jr.. tagged and Mike Evans re-signing with the Buccaneers, Ridley looks to be the top free agent wideout available. The Patriots hold more than $82MM in cap space; only the Commanders are carrying more into the tampering period. New England re-signed Hunter Henry late this week, but its pass-catching corps still features questions.

The Pats gave Smith-Schuster a three-year, $25.5MM deal that included $16MM fully guaranteed. His $7MM base salary for 2024 is locked in. DeVante Parker, however, may be less likely to be on the 2024 Patriots. The team is expected to try to unload Parker’s contract in a trade, according to’s Karen Guregian, Chris Mason and Mark Daniels. It would save the Pats just more than $3MM by trading Parker, who has two seasons left on the extension he signed last year. The former Dolphins first-round pick has $3.1MM remaining in guarantees on that summer 2023 re-up.

While last year did not feature a good receiver environment in New England, Parker totaled only 394 receiving yards — third-most among Pats wideouts. Smith-Schuster managed just 260 in an injury-shortened season. Despite playing in only eight games, Kendrick Bourne finished with 406 receiving yards and four TDs. The Patriots are not closing the door on keeping Bourne on a second contract.

Bourne and the Pats are still talking, per CBS Sports’ Josina Anderson, who indicates the sides have not found an acceptable middle ground. Bourne, 28, is coming off an ACL tear. That said, the ex-49er appeared back in the team’s good graces after residing in the doghouse during a 2022 season in which he came up in trade rumors. Bourne, who totaled 800 receiving yards in Mac Jones‘ rookie season, played out a three-year, $15MM deal.

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