Compensatory picks should incentive Jaguars to keep Calvin Ridley

• The Jaguars are getting 2 compensatory picks in the draft

• One of them is in the 3rd round

• It could help them keep Calvin Ridley from leaving

Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Calvin Ridley (0) catches a pass against Carolina Panthers
Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Calvin Ridley (0) catches a pass against Carolina Panthers / Corey Perrine/Florida Times-Unio / USA

NFL teams can get compensatory picks based on the players they lose in free agency. The league has announced the selections they awarded this year and the Jacksonville Jaguars are getting two. One of them will be in the third round and could ultimately help them re-sign wide receiver Calvin Ridley before he hits the open market.

The Jags are getting two picks, one in the third round and one in the sixth. The first one was awarded because they lost right tackle Jawaan Taylor in free agency last year. The other one was granted because they lost Arden "I built the city of Jacksonville with my bare hands" Key to the Tennessee Titans.

The Jaguars now have two third-round selections and two in the sixth round. They could use them as ammo to maneuver in the draft but they could also come in handy when it comes to re-signing Calvin Ridley.

When the Jags traded for Calvin Ridley they gave up a fourth-round selection last year and a conditional one in 2024. The conditional one would've been a fifth if he hadn't made the roster last season. Once he reached certain playing incentives, it became a third. And if Jacksonville gives him an extension before free agency (the NFL's new calendar year) starts, it will be a third.

As things stand, the selection is a third-rounder because Ridley hasn't been re-signed as of this writing. That said, there's a chance it will become a second. If the Jaguars want to bring him back and they've stated several times that they do, then losing the second round shouldn't hurt much because they officially have an extra third.

Sure, a second-rounder is better than a third but the Jags have enough picks (nine) to trade up to the second round if they want to.

The Jaguars have a clear path to re-signing Calvin Ridley (if they want to)

Calvin Ridley is expected to have a robust market and there's no guarantee he'll return to the Jaguars if he hits the open market. That said, they were reportedly interested in making a run for Mike Evans before he signed a two-year deal to go back to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. And if the Jags were willing to allocate considerable resources to their pursuit of Evans, they'd surely be comfortable making a big investment in Ridley.

Heck, they can let him hit the open market, keep their second rounder, and bring him back once he's a free agency. The second-rounder would be useful because they would have an easier time fortifying their defensive front, the interior offensive line, and the cornerback room in the first three rounds. On the other hand, wide receiver could become a need if Ridley walks.

Fortunately for the Jaguars, there's more than one path to navigate the offseason. If they cannot bring Ridley back, they would have an extra amount of cap space. They could use it to make upgrades to other position groups in free agency. They could then look for Ridley's potential replacement in Round 1 of the draft. Rome Odunze, Keon Coleman, and Brian Thomas Jr. would most definitely be intriguing options.

The bottom line is that the compensatory selection in the third round could help the Jacksonville Jaguars keep Ridley. However, it won't be the end of the world if they end up letting him walk. It would certainly hurt but they'll have alternatives.

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