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Falcons Trade of Calvin Ridley Could Net 1st-Round Pick, Analyst Claims

A bidding war for him by AFC teams like the Patriots, Jets and Dolphins? That can help bump up the return on a trade. But …

The Atlanta Falcons have wide receiver questions for 2022. But ironically, it’s the Atlanta wideout who doesn’t seem to want to be here - Calvin Ridley - who might provide Atlanta’s answer.

To be determined first: Where is Ridley on his mental health journey?

To be determined after that: What is his value?

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 here. But the buzz about his departure seems to loud for that.

Amid a great deal of speculation - is a third-round really all that can be netted in trade for Pro Bowl receiver in his prime? - comes an ESPN report that takes us in another direction.

Jeremy Fowler has reported that m 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.

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

“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.

The first-round pick would be a bonanza for the Falcons; we can smartly assume that is not their present demand.

A bidding war for him by AFC teams like the Patriots, Jets and Dolphins? That can help bump up the return on a trade. But … 

A first-round pick in trade for Calvin Ridley? Color us “skeptical” as we watch GM Terry Fontenot attempt to morph a Ridley question into an Atlanta answer.