2. Calvin Ridley
The Jacksonville Jaguars didn't make a splash signing in free agency, but that's because they didn't have to. They went into a spending spree last year, and most of their starters on both sides of the ball returned in 2023. Another reason the Jags weren't big spenders was that they had already pulled off a huge move last year by trading for wide receiver Calvin Ridley at the deadline.
Ridley was serving a suspension for betting on NFL games when Jacksonville acquired him. Fortunately for them, he was reinstated this past March, in time to join the team for offseason activities. Right off the bat, the former Alabama standout showed he had no rust despite the fact that he hadn't played football in more than a year. The speed and crisp routes were still there, it was just a matter of learning the playbook and developing chemistry with his teammates.
Then the regular season came and Ridley had a strong debut for the Jags, hauling in eight receptions for 103 yards with one touchdown in the opener. Since then, he's gone on to post two more 100-yard games, with the latest coming against the Tennessee Titans in Week 11.
Heading into Week 13, Ridley's got 47 receptions for 663 yards with five touchdowns. With six games to go, he should have a realistic shot at crossing the 1,000-yard mark and possibly finishing the season with 10 touchdowns. While those may not be elite numbers, it's important to point out that he consistently draws coverage away from his teammates and opposing defenses often bracket the former first-round pick in order to slow him down. Also, he's drawn a league-high seven pass interference flags in his favor. That's the kind of thing that won't often pop up when discussing his impact.
But as important as Ridley has been for the Jaguars offense, there could be a couple of potential roadblocks that could prevent the front office from signing him to a long-term deal. First, they already committed a significant amount of money to both Zay Jones and Christian Kirk.
Allocating so much cap space to the wide receiver corps without hindering their ability to upgrade other position groups in the offseason isn't probably feasible. On top of that, the Jags would need to give the Atlanta Falcons a second-round pick as a part of the deal they made last year. This doesn't mean the Jaguars won't bring Ridley back in 2024 but rather that they'll probably explore other options, such as using an early pick on a receiver next year, before deciding to make a long-term commitment.