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Calvin Ridley reinstated by the NFL, Falcons will get a 2023 5th-round pick

The first of a few conditions have been met in Atlanta’s Calvin Ridley trade.

NFL: OCT 24 Falcons at Dolphins Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Calvin Ridley has officially been reinstated by the NFL after serving a one-year suspension due to violating the league’s anti-gambling policy. Ridley was eligible to apply for reinstatement as of February 15th and he is now officially back in the league.

This is good news for the Falcons, as now the first of a handful of conditions have been met on the route to gaining maximum compensation in their trade of Ridley to the Jaguars this past November. Atlanta will now receive Jacksonville’s 5th-round pick in the 2023 draft thanks to Ridley’s reinstatement. That pick would have been a 6th-rounder had the receiver had been reinstated past a certain date or not at all.

Atlanta will enjoy the immediate boost in draft compensation for 2023, but the real prize will be the 2024 compensation they are set to receive in addition to it.

If Ridley makes the Jags’ 53-man roster going into the season, the Falcons will be guaranteed a 4th-round pick in next year’s draft. If he reaches a minimum playing time threshold, that pick will be a 3rd and if he signs an extension with the Jaguars, Atlanta will receive the maximum compensation of a 2nd-round pick.

Overall, this trade was one of many conditions with the bare minimum being just a 2023 6th-round pick and the absolute maximum being a 2023 5th and a 2024 2nd. Given his talent, I would expect Ridley to reach all of those thresholds and to reward the Falcons will maximum compensation.

Ridley will be playing on his fifth-year option in 2023, paying him $11.1 million after his contract tolled as a result of last year’s suspension. He is expected to slot next to Christian Kirk as one of Trevor Lawrence’s starting wide receivers.

In four seasons as a Falcon, after being selected with the 26th overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, Ridley recorded 248 receptions for 3,342 receiving yards and 28 touchdowns. In his best season in 2020, he had 90 catches for 1,374 yards and nine scores, being named a Second-Team All-Pro by the Associated Press.