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Calvin Ridley to Jets? NFL Insider Predicts Falcons Star WR Will Be Traded

This NFL insider expects Calvin Ridley to be traded this offseason. Could New York and Atlanta reach a blockbuster deal?

The Falcons could trade Calvin Ridley this offseason.

The Jets are in the market for a top wide receiver this offseason.

Cue the trade speculation.

Atlanta's star wideout played in just five games this past season, taking a leave of absence away from his team to focus on his "mental wellbeing." There's still a chance the former first-round pick can return this year and suit up with the Falcons for his fifth NFL season, but this report from an NFL insider shows a trade could be in the works.

Mike Garafolo of NFL Network said this week that Ridley's camp and the Falcons haven't been in touch lately and a "fresh start could be in the cards."

After walking through all the facts of this developing situation, Garafolo gave his assessment, another sign pointing to a blockbuster deal.

"My educated prediction right now—this is a prediction, not a report, but it's educated—is that Calvin Ridley is elsewhere for the 2022 regular season," Garafolo said. "We'll see how it plays out."

If Garafolo's intuition about Ridley is on point, and Ridley does don a new uniform next season, the Jets are one of the many teams that could pounce.

New York has immense flexibility entering this offseason, sitting in a unique position that allows the franchise to take an aggressive approach. With plenty of cap space and a surplus of draft capital—four picks in the first 38 selections of the 2022 NFL draft—a trade for a player of Ridley's caliber is certainly feasible.

Remember, general manager Joe Douglas confirmed this past week that he is willing to trade draft picks for proven talent. This would be the perfect example of that, accelerating New York's rebuild by acquiring those ready to compete for contention as soon as 2022. 

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READ: Jets' Joe Douglas Open to Trading Draft Picks For Proven Players This Offseason

After the Jets pick twice in the first round, they're slated to be on the clock two more times early in the second. The No. 35 or No. 38 picks could be used in a possible blockbuster deal, sending Atlanta a selection where they can start over with a new wide receiver or bolster their roster at another position.

Again, there's always a chance Atlanta doesn't make Ridley available. New York has plenty of options when it comes to drafting a wide receiver, signing one in free agency or exploring the trade market elsewhere. But Ridley is as appealing of an asset that could be up for grabs this offseason.

The Alabama product racked up 1,374 receiving yards on 90 catches with nine touchdowns in 15 games during the 2020 season. He had 63-plus catches and 821-plus yards in each of his first two NFL seasons as well. In just five games in 2021, Ridley had 31 catches, 281 yards and two scores. 

We're talking about a clear No. 1 wideout, the type of receiver that can take this Jets offense to the next level. 

Imagine a wide receiver room with Ridley, Corey Davis, Elijah Moore and more. Add a tight end this offseason, provide more protection on the offensive line and New York would be in business entering Wilson's second season under center. 

New York will certainly have competition if Ridley is on the trade block, though. It'll take a strong offer from Douglas and his team, a storyline to follow all offseason long. 

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