Ranking No. 1 Jaguars player set to become a free agent in 2024: Calvin Ridley, WR
It might be odd to see wide receiver Calvin Ridley at the top of the Jaguars' priority signings despite the fact that he hasn't played a snap for them and hasn't appeared in a football game in more than a year. But a closer look shows that they can't let the Alabama product leave next offseason.
A second-round pick by the Atlanta Falcons in 2018, Ridley was on his way to becoming one of the top receivers in the league. However, he abruptly quit in the middle of the 2021 season, citing mental health as the main reason.
The Florida native would later reveal that he was playing with a broken foot and was going through a lot. Not long after hanging up the cleats, Ridley was suspended for violating the NFL's gambling policy. And it was during his suspension that the Jags traded for him, knowing he could become the player he was early in his career.
Ridley was reinstated earlier this year. Since then, he's determined to claim his place as one of the top wideouts in the league and is putting in the work to make it happen. Being healthy, both physically and mentally, should help him achieve his goal. And even though the Jaguars have lots of receivers to feed, Ridley's got the talent to get over 1,200 yards and close to 10 touchdowns next season.
His mere presence should give the Jaguars' offense a boost. Besides having the ability to stretch the field, he'll draw coverage away from Jones and Kirk, which should in turn give everyone more favorable matchups. Barring serious injuries expect Ridley to be the playmaker he was in Atlanta and become a priority signing for Jacksonville next year.