In perhaps the most out-of-the-blue move this year, the Jacksonville Jaguars traded for suspended Atlanta Falcons wideout Calvin Ridley, the Jaguars confirmed.
The Jaguars sent a package of draft picks that could be worth as high as a 2023 fifth-rounder and a 2024 second-rounder, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Ridley, a Florida native, was suspended for the entire 2022 season after he bet on games in 2021. He is eligible to apply for reinstatement on Feb. 13, 2023.
The conditions of the draft picks, per Rapoport, are:
The 2023 pick remains a fifth-rounder if Ridley is reinstated. Otherwise, the pick turns into a sixth-rounder.
The 2024 pick remains a fourth-rounder if Ridley makes the team. If he receives a play-time incentive it becomes a third-rounder. If he signs a long-term extension it becomes a second-rounder.
This move won't have any effect on this season for the Jaguars, but it could be a major move for Jacksonville if Ridley is reinstated in 2023. Ridley, 27, was the 26th overall pick by the Falcons in 2018 and tallied 217 receptions for 2,061 yards and 26 touchdowns from 2018-2020. He was poised for another big year in 2021 before he stepped away from the team due to personal reasons and only played five games.
Earlier this year, the NFL announced Ridley would be indefinitely suspended following an investigation that discovered the receiver bet on games during a five-day period when he was away from the team. The investigation found no inside information was used or that any game was compromised by Ridley's actions, either.
The hope, for the Jaguars at least, is that Ridley can return to the field in 2023 and become a top passing-catching option for Trevor Lawrence. He has one year left on his contract following the suspension with $11.11 million guaranteed. The Falcons, meanwhile, move on from a player they were actively shopping in the offseason before the suspension and get some compensation in return.