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Falcoholinks: All the Falcons news you need for Friday, June 18

LINKS

NFL: Atlanta Falcons at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Busy week — but it’s Friday, which means the links arriveth nonetheless.

Ridley confident he’ll be ready

On the heels of trading Julio Jones we learned that now No. 1 wide receiver Calvin Ridley had been absent from OTAs due to offseason foot surgery. Obviously not good news!

The good news, however, is that per Calvin Ridley, he will be ready to go for the start of training camp and eager to assume the role of WR1.

Atlanta’s group of wideouts will certainly look strange without Julio Jones in the formation — although they did just sign Jeff Badet, who ran a 4.27! —, but Ridley has shown that he is capable of being a top target in his own right. It’s his year to prove it, and he should be good to go for camp.

Gage-ing the wideouts

Bad, shoehorned puns aside: Russell Gage’s role on offense has also increased with Julio’s departure — so what can we reasonably expect from the former sixth-rounder suddenly thrust into the spot as Atlanta’s No. 2?

Matt Gono undergoes surgery

Moving from one surgery to another: Unfortunately Atlanta Falcons offensive lineman Matt Gono will miss time after undergoing an as-yet-undisclosed surgery in the offseason — but may return during the 2021 season.

Some rookies signed and a rash of roster moves

With the relative windfall of cap space cash the Falcons made available with the Julio Jones trade, they were able to start getting some of their rookie class under contract.

OL Jalen Mayfield, DL Ta’Quon Graham, and WR Frank Darby are now officially under contract, as is cornerback Avery Williams.

DE Ade Ogundeji was also reportedly set to sign his rookie deal, and CB Darren Hall and OL Drew Dalman also put pen-to-paper.

That leaves the Falcons’ top two picks, TE Kyle Pitts and S Richie Grant still unsigned.

A flurry of other moves were made, with the signings of two defensive linemen along with corresponding cuts, and Atlanta brought in outside linebacker Shareef Miller.

Arthur Smith speaks

New Falcons head coach Arthur Smith joined Peter Schrager on The Flying Coach podcast and shed some light on Atlanta’s hiring process and quarterback Matt Ryan, amongst other things.