Sauce Gardner tries to recruit Jaguars WR Calvin Ridley to the NY Jets

• Sauce Gardner is one of the top CBs in the NFL

• He recognizes who the best receivers in the game are

• Not

Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Calvin Ridley (0) celebrates his touchdown against the Tennessee
Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Calvin Ridley (0) celebrates his touchdown against the Tennessee / Andrew Nelles / The Tennessean / USA

Saucer Gardner is one of the top cornerbacks in the NFL, so he knows who the best receivers in the league are. Not surprisingly, he would like Calvin Ridley and Tee Higgins to join the New York Jets in the offseason. Ridley is set to become a free agent and it's uncertain if the Jacksonville Jaguars want to re-sign him, so maybe Gardner's wish will come true.

Jets Media asked on Twitter who's one receiver nobody's talking about that New York should sign in free agency. Gardner's answer was Ridley and Higgins, both of whom are set to hit the open market. This makes sense when you take into account that the Jets have one of the best defenses in the NFL but their offense was one of the worst.

Granted, Aaron Rodgers suffered a season-ending injury in the opener, but their dearth of talent and depth goes beyond the quarterback position. Besides Garrett Wilson, New York lacks playmakers at wide receiver, running back, and tight end.

Add the fact that their offensive line is full of holes, and it's easy to see why the Jets ranked 29th in points scored and 31st in total yards last year. Meanwhile, the defense is stacked with Pro Bowl talent at all three levels. Former Jaguars linebacker Quincy Williams is coming off his first-ever First-Team All-Pro designation. Next to him is C.J. Mosley who's bounced back nicely after missing most of 2019 with a groin injury and later opting out of the 2020 season due to COVID.

In the trenches, the Jets have Quinnen Williams and John Franklin-Myers. Opposite Gardner, they have another top-15 cornerback in D.J. Reed. Given that the defense had to do all the heavy lifting last year, it's easy to see why Gardner would want a player of Calvin Ridley's caliber on offense.

The Jacksonville Jaguars will need to make a decision on Calvin Ridley

Calvin Ridley made an impact in his first season with the Jaguars. Having last played in 2021, he showed he was still the same playmaker he was early in his stint with the Atlanta Falcons. Ridley hauled in 1,016 yards with eight touchdowns on 76 receptions last year. On top of that, he drew a league-high seven pass interference calls in his favor for 190 yards. Simply, he became the WR1 Trevor Lawrence had sorely needed.

That said, Ridley and Lawrence didn't always have great communication. Because this was their first year playing together, it should not be a cause for concern though. It's fair to assume that their rapport will improve if they spend another season together. However, he's set to hit the open market and the Jags will need to decide whether to bring him back or not.

One thing that could complicate Ridley's return is that Jacksonville will need to give the Atlanta Falcons a second-round pick as a part of the trade they made to acquire him if they extend him. If they let him leave in free agency, it will then be a third pick. While there's merit in having carryover from one season to another, the team's brass may want to use that second-round selection to address another need.

All things considered, the Jacksonville Jaguars are better off keeping Calvin Ridley around. But if they let him walk, Sauce Gardner and the NY Jets will more likely welcome him with open arms.

Here are more recent stories from Black & Teal: