What should the Jacksonville Jaguars do with the explosive Calvin Ridley?
On the receiver front, the 2024 free-agent class appears promising. Alongside Calvin Ridley, receivers like Tyler Boyd, Gabriel Davis, and Mike Evans are also slated to hit the market. While some of them might end up re-signing with their current teams, the market still presents enticing options for teams looking to bolster their receiver lineup. But the most intriguing receiver expected to hit the market is Trevor Lawrence's favorite target at Clemson, Tee Higgins.
Ridley, a first-round pick in the 2018 draft, has been a consistent performer since his early days with the Atlanta Falcons. Despite a brief hiatus in 2021 due to personal reasons, Ridley has bounced back impressively. His performance in training camp indicates a promising 2023 season ahead, and his potential impact on the Jaguars' offense cannot be overstated. This is why retaining him could provide the team with a reliable and experienced receiver option.
Ridley will be looking for a minimum of a Christian Kirk deal, four years, $72 million, with $37 million guaranteed. As high as that is, Kirk has delivered on it, and it is fair for Ridley. However, Kirk leads the team in all receiving stats, not Ridley. Kirk is on pace for 86 receptions, 1,040 yards, and six touchdowns while Ridley would end with 66 receptions, 902 yards, and four touchdowns at his current pace.
The burn is if the Jaguars re-sign Ridley, they must forfeit a second-round pick in 2024 to the Falcons as a condition of the trade. So now you are looking at a No. 1 receiver contract and a second-round pick for a WR2. Jacksonville could use that selection in someone like Clemson linebacker Jeremiah Trotter Jr. next year.
Tee Higgins, the compadre of Lawrence and Etienne, would fit perfectly in the Jaguars offense. Allowing Kirk and Zay Jones to be the playmakers while he serves as the big-body possession receiver. Unlike Evans and the other upcoming free-agent targets, Higgins is not bolstering his free-agent status and is having a down year; this could be more advantageous to the Jaguars and be a better value.
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