Jaguars lose Calvin Ridley to division foe in shocking turn of events

• The Titans swooped in and poach Calvin Ridley from the Jaguars at the last minute.

Jan 7, 2024; Nashville, Tennessee, USA;  Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Calvin Ridley (0)
Jan 7, 2024; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Calvin Ridley (0) / Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports

Once wide receiver Calvin Ridley became a free agent, it look like it was a matter of time before he re-signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars. But in a surprising turn of events, the Tennessee Titans stepped up and made him an offer that he couldn't refuse.

The Titans are signing Ridley to a four-year deal worth $92 million with $50 million guaranteed, per Adam Schefter of ESPN. In Tennessee, he'll join former Jaguars pass game coordinator Nick Holz, who was hired as their offensive coordinator in the offseason. It's possible that they were the dark horse team that was making a push to sign him while Jacksonville and the Patriots were pursuing him.

The Jaguars always risked losing Ridley when he became a free agency. But if they had re-signed him before the start of the calendar year, they would've have owed the Atlanta Falcons a second-round pick. Instead, they'll be giving up a third as the star receiver met playing conditions last year.

In Ridley, the Titans are getting a No. 1receiver opposite DeAndre Hopkins. In fact, you could make the case that they're the most improved team in the AFC South. Then again, they had nowhere to go up after going 6-11 last year. On a related note, Tennessee signed running back Tony Pollard and center Lloyd Cushenberry III in free agency. Based on the moves they made, it's clear they want to surround sophomore Will Levis with a better supporting cast.

By losing Ridley, there's now a stronger chance wide receiver Zay Jones will remain in place. Had the Jaguars managed to brought Ridley back, they would've most likely moved from Jones. On top of that, they had signed Gabe Davis, so their wide receiver corps isn't necessarily in bad shape. Granted, Davis isn't a replacement for Davis but the void left by Ridley isn't as big as it could've been.

What's next for the Jaguars after losing Calvin Ridley to the Titans?

It certainly stings to lose Calvin Ridley Ridley to a division foe, but the Jacksonville Jaguars cannot dwell too much into it. If anything, there are several paths they could take. While unlikely, they could make a bid for Tee Higgins, who requested a trade after not getting a long-term deal by the Cincinnati Bengals. Another possiblity would be to go after Mike Williams, who became a cap casualty ahead of the start of the new league year.

And if the Jags aren't pleased with their current options, there's always the draft. One silver lining of not re-signing Ridley before free agency officially started is that they get to keep their second rounder. Moreover, they got a compensatory pick in the third round and one in the sixth.

While the Jags must address the interior defensive line and the pass rush on Day 1 or 2, they could also target a receiver prospect. This year's class is stacked with talent and even if they take care of another position in Round 1, they should still have ample options in rounds 2 and 3.

The truth is that there was always be a chance the Jaguars would lose Calvin RIdley. Although they were close to bringing him back, the Titans came out of nowhere and made him an offer too good to pass up. Now, they'll face him twice a year, so the best Jacksonville can do is prepare accordingly.

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