2. Re-signing Calvin Ridley, should be a no-brainer, will the Jaguars pull the trigger?
The Jaguars spared no expenses to get better in 2022. Even after going into a spending spree in free agency, they kept loading up on talent well into the regular season. At the trade deadline, they acquired Calvin Ridley from the Atlanta Falcons even though they had inked Christian Kirk and Zay Jones in free agency. At the time of the deal, Ridley was serving a suspension for betting on NFL games but the expectation was that he would be reinstated in the 2023 offseason.
Right on schedule, the former Alabama standout was granted his reinstatement last March. Still, there were questions about his readiness to play and stamina, given that he had last suited up for a football game in 2021. And that's the thing, the Falcons moved Ridley because as dominant as he was early in his career, he was underwhelming before he retired. At the time though, it wasn't publicly known that he was playing with a broken foot and he was overwhelmed mentally.
When he joined the Jaguars, Ridley showed he was still the same game-changer who tallied over 3,000 yards and nearly 30 touchdowns in his first three seasons combined. During training camp, it seemed like he was making a highlight play on a daily basis. Then, the regular season came and he delivered, hauling in 76 receptions for 1,016 yards with eight touchdowns. Moreover, his ability to draw pass interference calls in his favor helped the Jags routinely move the chains.
Now, Ridley is set to hit the open market. Re-signing him should be a no-brainer. Another year with Trevor Lawrence could help him take his game to the next level in 2024. However, the Jags need to give Atlanta a draft pick as part of the deal they made to trade him. If Jacksonville re-signs Ridley, it will be a second-rounder, but if he walks, it will be a third.
The team's brass will need to decide what they value more, Ridley's playmaking skills or the chance of drafting a game-changer in the second round.