Calvin Ridley trade speculation had dominated the past couple of months before the wide receiver was suspended for the entire 2022 season for gambling on games. The question was whether the Falcons were as interested in moving Ridley as teams seemed to be in acquiring him, and we’re now learning that the answer to that first question was yes.
Per NFL on FOX reporter Jay Glazer, the Eagles nearly had a deal with the Falcons for Ridley before Atlanta learned about the suspension. There’s no word on what the compensation would’ve been for the deal, but it is beyond frustrating to know that Atlanta would’ve likely had significant draft picks heading their way and couldn’t do it owing to the suspension.
Yup, Eagles almost had deal done for Calvin Ridley last month… Falcons backed out but weren’t able to tell Eagles why. They actually handled it great and after a lot of confusion Philly respected them for how they handled a very different situation. Eagles swung away @NFLonFOX— Jay Glazer (@JayGlazer) March 10, 2022
The Falcons, of course, are keen on not becoming a team with a reputation for trying to screw other teams over, which could damage them in future trade talks, so you can understand why they didn’t try to ram a trade through after learning the news. The temptation must have been there given that the Falcons knew they’d soon lose Ridley for the upcoming season with absolutely nothing to show for it, which had to be insanely frustrating for Terry Fontenot and the front office. They are gearing up for free agency with exactly one receiver on the roster—second-year pro Frank Darby—and a couple of players signed to reserve/future deals. That’s quite the dropoff from a couple of years ago.
It’s no great surprise that the Eagles wanted Ridley, as they need help at wide receiver and were linked to Ridley by fans and analysts alike more or less from the moment he stepped away from the Falcons last fall. He would’ve given Philadelphia a #1 option assuming he had been ready to play, while the Falcons could’ve used any draft capital they received to bolster a roster in bad need of bolstering. That would’ve felt like a win-win for both parties and Ridley if he was looking for a change of scenery, but alas.
We’ll see if we learn more details here, but regardless of whether we do or not, it’s just a footnote in this whole unfortunate saga.