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Falcons set to get 3rd round pick in Calvin Ridley trade

The Calvin Ridley trade was an exercise in patience for the Atlanta Falcons. They received a fifth-round pick last March after Ridley was reinstated after his suspension for the game, then waited to see how the 2023 season would play out. As it turned out, Ridley hit the markers needed to move up a 2024 fourth-round pick to a third-round selection, and the Falcons still had a chance to snag a second-round pick. Jacksonville Jaguars.

Unfortunately for Atlanta, that depended on the Jaguars signing Calvin Ridley to an extension before the new league year, a clause I don't think Terry Fontenot will include in any upcoming trades. Predictably, the Jaguars decided to drag things out on that front after Ridley had a good but not phenomenal first season in Jacksonville, hoping to keep the talented wideout while ensuring that 'They would only have to give up a third round for Ridley.

With the new championship year here, the The Falcons only get a third round pick from the Jaguars. Hilariously enough, the Jaguars paid the price for trying to get too cute, and Ridley signed blockbuster deal with the Tennessee Titans yesterday, this will make him Will Levis' new favorite target.

From Atlanta's perspective, this probably helps alleviate some of the disadvantage of not getting a second rounder. It's impossible to know how many teams were involved in a Ridley trade after the suspension – we know the Eagles were interested before the suspension – but I don't get the sense that Fontenot was entering into the deal with high hopes that the Jaguars would hand him over. on this second round. It is probable hoped the Jaguars would decide they couldn't live without Ridley and couldn't risk him hitting the open market, sure, but the third round was a borderline lock if Ridley simply stayed healthy. Getting a third and fifth rounder for Ridley when it seemed obvious he wasn't going to play in Atlanta and the Falcons weren't trading from a position of strength may not be considered a huge win in your personal scorebook, but at least it's a solid return. The Falcons should have no problem landing an additional second-day selection this year.

The Jaguars, meanwhile, made a big mistake. As writer John Shipley wrote against the Jaguars, Jacksonville could have scored Ridley and gotten away with paying the second round. Instead, they couldn't make a deal with pass rusher Josh Allen and were forced to use the tag on him instead, waiting out the new championship year with Ridley and losing to a team who was just willing to pay him more money. Jacksonville ended up giving up a third and fifth round pick for one year of Ridley, not a price they wanted to pay given the team's fortunes that year.

The real winner? Ridley, who wins big and joins a team where he will be at the top of the food chain, given that DeAndre Hopkins will be 32 years old and Levis will surely appreciate Ridley's running magic. I'm happy for him, happy that the Falcons walked away with solid compensation for his trade, and happy that Jacksonville's attempt to meet the deadline blew up in their face.

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