3 teams Jaguars must outbid for Calvin Ridley as free agency heats up

It sounds like Ridley's market is alive and well so far.

Carolina Panthers v Jacksonville Jaguars
Carolina Panthers v Jacksonville Jaguars / Courtney Culbreath/GettyImages
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New England Patriots

One of the two teams that has more cap space than the Titans? The Patriots, who also happen to be looking to make a dramatic departure – both optically and schematically – away from whatever it was that they were trying to do on offense last year.

First-year head coach Jerod Mayo already made waves earlier this week when they traded starting QB Mac Jones to Jacksonville for some late-round draft capital, and Robert Kraft is always ready to spend if it means feeling (or at least looking) more like a contender.

Even with both Bill Belichick and Nick Saban gone, the Alabama-New England pipeline remains strong: D'Onta Hightower is now on-staff as a linebackers coach, and Matthew Judon is already pitching former Bama guys on joining up in Foxboro. If the Patriots go and take either Drake Maye or Jayden Daniels with the 3rd overall pick in this year's draft, already having a reliable No. 1 WR in place makes a ton of sense.

3. Carolina Panthers

The main takeaway from Ridley's market is that it's a good time to be a talented offensive player on the open market – with so much coaching turnover this offseason, there are more than a couple teams looking to make big splashes to start a new era.

There's an argument to be made that no team needs to do that more quickly than the Panthers, who have had an absolutely disastrous two years. After trading up to take Bryce Young with the first overall pick, the offense looked terrible all season, and head coach Frank Reich was fired mid-season.

Now that former Buccaneers offensive coordinator Dave Canales is in charge, the Panthers are on the clock when it comes to Youngs' development, which was concerning for most of his rookie year. The Panthers already have some receiving depth – somehow, Adam Theilen managed to have an 1,000-yard season last year – but it's not like adding Ridley would be overkill.

If we know one thing about Carolina, it's that David Tepper doesn't have the patience for a lengthy rebuild, which is probably good news for Ridley.