3 ways the Jacksonville Jaguars have helped Trevor Lawrence in 2023 offseason
1. The Jacksonville Jaguars got Calvin Ridley to give the offense a boost
It's easy to criticize the Jaguars for not being as active in free agency as they were last year but the truth is that they simply didn't have the cap space to go into a spending spree this offseason. You could argue that they could have structured a few contracts in a way that would push some of the money to future years but that would have limited their ability to pay some of their own players (e.g. Trevor Lawrence, Josh Allen) in 2024.
In the end, the Jaguars mostly focused on keeping their own players -- Roy Robertson Harris, Andrew Wingard, and JaMycal Hasty among others -- and adding depth to their running back room and their defensive front. However, the Jags did make a splash move that should immensely help Lawrence and other players on offense and that was the addition of Calvin Ridley to their wide receiver corps.
Technically, the Jaguars acquired Ridley last year before the trade deadline but the move will reap rewards until the 2023 season. At the time the front office acquired the Alabama product, he was serving an indefinite suspension for gambling on football games back in 2021. However, he was reinstated last March and is free to join the Jags in any team activities.
Ridley was one of the best receivers in the NFL in 2020, hauling in 90 receptions for 1,374 yards with nine touchdowns. Although his numbers dropped considerably the following year, it's important to point out that he was severely hurt as he recently noted in a letter he wrote for The Players' Tribune.
Besides giving Lawrence a bonafide No. 1 receiver, he will draw coverage away from Evan Engram, Christian Kirk and Zay Jones, which should lead to better matchups. Similarly, Ridley's presence won't make it possible for the defenses to stack the box unless they want to run the risk of getting burnt deep.
Simply, Ridley will make Lawrence and his teammates better, which is why general manager Trent Baalke jumped at the opportunity to trade for him last year.