2. Calvin Ridley, wide receiver
The Jaguars spared no expense to fortify their wide receiver room in 2022. After giving top-market contracts to Christian Kirk and Zay Jones in free agency that year, they sent shockwaves around the league when they traded for Calvin Ridley at the deadline. The move came with a caveat though. At the time, Ridley was serving an indefinite suspension for placing bets on NFL games.
On top of that, Ridley had stepped away from football in 2021. While he was a game-changer early in his NFL career, he was underwhelming the season he retired, hauling in a paltry 31 catches for 281 yards with two touchdowns. For that reason, the trade fell into the "buyer's beware" category. In his defense, he was dealing with a lot at the time, and he hung up his cleats precisely to work on his mental health. He would later let it be known that he was also playing through a broken leg.
In retrospect, it's easy to see why Ridley failed to play at a high level in 2021. He wasted no time reminding everyone how much of a game-changer he is when he was granted his reinstatement last March. The Alabama product routinely stole the spotlight in training camp, and when the regular season came, he showed he had not lost a step. On the flip side, he dealt with drops and wasn't always on the same page with Trevor Lawrence.
Still, Ridley managed to haul in 76 receptions for 1,016 yards with eight touchdowns. On top of that, he drew a league-high seven pass interference calls in his favor, showing how much opposing defenses respected him. Now, the Fort Lauderdale native is set to become a free agent and he'll be in demand if he hits the open market. Both head coach Doug Pederson and general manager Trent Baalke are on the record saying they would like to have him back.
Having said that, the Jaguars will need to give up the Falcons a second-round pick as part of the trade package they made in 2022. But if they let him walk, it will only then be a third-rounder. That could most definitely have an impact on whether the team will re-sign him or not.