Jacksonville Jaguars WR Calvin Ridley thrilled to see his name at TIAA Bank Field
The Jacksonville Jaguars mostly focused on adding depth in free agency but they made a huge move last year that should have a huge impact in 2023 and that was acquiring wide receiver Calvin Ridley before the trade deadline. In a recent video, he talks about how he excited he is to have a new opportunity.
Although Ridley was serving an indefinite suspension for betting on football games back in 2021 at the time the Jaguars traded for him, he was reinstated by the league in March and flew to Jacksonville not long after to join his new team. The trip was documented on the web series called The Hunt and it shows how thrilled he is to play for the Jags in 2023.
The Jaguars launched The Hunt last year and in the first episode of their latest episode, there's a clip of Ridley traveling to TIAA Bank Field to meet with the team. During the ride, he realizes there's a billboard with his name on it, "Hold on! I can see my name in there", Ridley is caught on film saying.
General manager Trent Baalke later says that he couldn't pass up the chance to trade for Ridley, who is then shown greeting wide receivers coach Chad Hall, head coach Doug Pederson, and offensive coordinator Press Taylor, "I'm very excited", Ridley says. Here's the whole episode of the Hunt, where Baalke talks about the potential impact of the Alabama product.
Jacksonville Jaguars WR Calvin Ridley set to have a bounce back year in 2023
A second-round pick in the 2018 draft, Ridley was a high productive player during his first three seasons with the Atlanta Falcons, hauling in 217 receptions for 3,061 yards with 26 touchdowns. However, a series of circumstances, including a foot injury, severely affected his performance in 2021 and without prior notice, he filed for retirement in the middle of the season.
Ridley was then caught gambling, which led the league to impose a suspension. The Florida native then talked about his mistake and everything that led to it in a column in The Players Tribune. One thing that he makes clear is that he's now in the right state of mind, fully healthy, and ready to contribute in 2023.
The Jaguars had one of the best offenses in the league last year, ranking 10th in both points scored and total yards. If Ridley can be the player he was for the Falcons in 2020 and Christian Kirk and Zay Jones pick up where they left off last season, the Jags will have a realistic shot at having a top 5 offense.
You could make that the rich got richer this offseason. Instead of relying on the players that had a role in the team's turnaround last year, the front office went out of the way to get Ridley. Maybe just maybe, he can be the missing piece that can help the Jaguars get over the hump in the playoffs in 2023.