Good teams need good players to win games and the Jacksonville Jaguars got a darn good one when they traded for wide receiver Calvin Ridley last year. Although he wasn't able to join the Jags right away because he was a suspension serving for betting on football games, he made his presence felt once he was reinstated in March.
Right out of the gate, Ridley began to put in the work to ensure he claimed back his place as one of the top receivers in the league. All that grind was on full display in the season opener, when he hauled in eight receptions for 101 yards and one touchdown. Then again, numbers alone don't tell the whole story.
In Ridley, Trevor Lawrence has a true WR1, the one he was missing last year. With Ridley in the fold, Lawrence will take more shots downfield throughout the season.
Moreover, Ridley's ability to draw coverage allows his teammates to find favorable matchups. In Week 1, fellow receiver Zay Jones and tight end Evan Engram got lots of opportunities and based on the weekly matchups, Christian Kirk, the Jags' top playmaker last year, will also shine.
The bottom line is that the Jaguars' offense is better because of Calvin Ridley. However, he's set to become a free agent, so maybe the team's brass should consider giving him a contract extension to ensure he remains in Jacksonville beyond the 2023 season.
With that in mind, here are three reasons why the Jags should give Ridley a new deal already and two why they shouldn't.
3. The more the Jaguars wait, the more they'll probably have to pay Calvin Ridley
Wide receiver is a premium position and salaries constantly go up. Last year, it was thought that the Jags had overpaid Christian Kirk in free agency. But not long after Kirk got his deal, Terry McLaurin, DK Metcalf, and A.J. Brown signed even bigger ones. Thus, there are reasons to believe that Calvin Ridley will command even more money next year.
Along with Ridley, Tee Higgins, Mike Evans, and Darnell Mooney are slated to hit the open market. By giving Ridley a contract extension before the regular season's end, they ensure they get ahead of the curve and fork out less money than they would if they waited.