Calvin Ridley market starts to take form with at least 2 teams very interested in him

Orel Dizon
3 Min Read
Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports

After playing a season with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Calvin Ridley could be on his way to his third team in the NFL. League insiders Jeremy Fowler and Dan Graziano have identified two organizations that may have interest in the wide receiver, namely the New England Patriots and Carolina Panthers.

“Expect the Patriots to swing big on receiver Calvin Ridley,” Fowler wrote. “The Jaguars are very interested in keeping Ridley but haven’t been able to close the deal.”

It remains to be seen if the Jaguars will lose the former first-round pick this offseason. It might be trending that way after they opted to not place the franchise tag on him – and with multiple teams reportedly willing to pay him “WR1 money.”

“The Panthers are on the hunt for a No. 1 wide receiver, so if — and I say if — Tee Higgins or Michael Pittman Jr. ends up available in a trade, they’d likely be involved,” Graziano added. “I expect them to at least look into Ridley as well, should he hit the market.”

Ridley has been on a mission to re-establish himself in the league after sitting out part of one season and an entire campaign in the past.

After playing a handful of games in the 2021 season as a member of the Atlanta Falcons, who selected him in the first round of the 2018 draft, the University of Alabama product opted to rest for the remainder of the campaign to prioritize his mental health.

However, he was unable to return in the following season, as the NFL suspended him for the entire 2022 campaign for gambling on games in the previous season, including on his own team.

In the midst of serving his punishment, Ridley was traded to Jacksonville. Ridley then made his Jaguars debut after nearly 23 months of not appearing in an NFL game. He immediately made his mark, catching eight passes for 101 yards and a touchdown.

The 29-year-old wideout ended up playing 17 contests in the 2023 season, recording 76 receptions for 1,016 yards and eight receiving touchdowns.

Despite Ridley’s solid comeback campaign, the jury’s out on whether he deserves to be paid similarly to the league’s top wide receivers. Interestingly, he has yet to make an appearance in the postseason. The Jaguars failed to reach the playoffs last season after advancing to the previous year’s divisional round.

Even so, perhaps organizations like the Patriots and Panthers are willing to take a flyer on the potential star. Both of them are likely looking to upgrade their receiving corps after placing last in their respective divisions in the 2023 campaign.

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Orel's passion for sports stems from following Michael Jordan’s last title runs with the Chicago Bulls and his namesake Orel Hershiser’s Cleveland Indians tenure in the late 1990s.