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Cowboys Trade for Falcons WR Calvin Ridley? 'Good Idea!' Says Analyst

It has been suggested by national media folks that Ridley could be had for something less than a first-rounder …

The Atlanta Falcons have wide receiver questions for 2022. So do the Dallas Cowboys.

Can each club provide the other with some answers?

Ridley is the Atlanta wideout who doesn’t seem to want to be in Atlanta. To be determined first: Where is Ridley on his mental health journey? To be determined after that - and this is the subject of much debate - What is his value?

It has been suggested by national media folks that Ridley could be had for something less than a first-round pick, to which our 105.3 The Fan buddy Jeff Cavanaugh replies, "A second-round pick for Calvin Ridley would be a Good idea!''

But Cavanaugh, of course, knows that it's all more complicated than that.

Atlanta is presently poised to have only a couple of kid receivers under contract for 2022. They can chase free agents. (A top-five idea list here.) So there are going to be changes in coach Arthur Smith’s receivers room. A clean solution would be for Ridley, 27, to reverse course and remain there. But the buzz about his departure seems too loud for that.

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There is speculation that a third-round really all that can be netted in trade for Pro Bowl receiver in his prime. But now comes an ESPN report that takes us in another direction.

Jeremy Fowler has reported that the “market would be robust” for Ridley once he’s available in a trade. Fowler further states that if he is back in an NFL lineup next season, multiple teams view Ridley as a top-10 wideout.

And what is the payoff for a top-10 player at his position and in his prime?

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“One league exec says a conditional second-round pick - which could turn into a first-rounder based on playing time - seems like a sweet spot for Ridley,” Fowler said.

Sweet, indeed.

"Good idea,'' indeed.

The first-round pick would be a bonanza for the Falcons; we can smartly assume that is not their present demand. The first-round pick would be a no-go for the Cowboys; that's what they spend to trade for Amari Cooper before then paying him $20 million a year. The Joneses are not going down that road again.

A bidding war for him by AFC teams like the Patriots, Jets and Dolphins would especially knock Dallas out of the running here.

It's worth noting that the dollars and cents to Ridley are not immediately problematic; he's an $11 mil guy, though he'll be due for his new deal soon. But the money is an issue because Dallas is already trying to figure out what to do with Cooper, the perennial Pro Bowler who is pricy. Can Dallas move off of Cooper and onto Ridley? Or, with CeeDee Lamb already here to lead the wideouts, should the Cowboys be fixing other parts of the roster?

And then the biggest reason that a "good idea'' on paper needs real-life examination: Calvin Ridley's mental health challenges create major doubt about his readiness and willingness to play. A conditional-pick trade can insulate the buyer from some of that.

In a sense, the buyer - in order to “win the trade” - will almost need to have better information on Ridley than even the Falcons gave. That is a “sweet” concept and a “good idea,” but one that likely leaves the Cowboys busy worrying about their own house.