Don’t get your hopes up.
Ridley is in his fourth year at Atlanta, but he missed a considerable amount of games this season to work on his mental health. In 2021, he’s played in just five games, recording 31 catches for 281 yards and adding two touchdowns.
Compared to his 2020 season totals of 90 catches, 1,374 yards, and nine touchdowns, Ridley knows he can do better.
And apparently, he wants to do better on a different team.
Ridley was drafted by Atlanta in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft, but it seems he wants to play in greener pastures than Georgia.
Ever since leaving the team in late October for mental health issues, the Falcons have been oddly quiet about Ridley’s return, suggesting he may not be back in Atlanta in 2022.
Whether or not Ridley is driven by financial incentives to leave the Falcons, the Saints couldn’t afford him anyway.
New Orleans Saints know Calvin Ridley is way out of their price range
Not to mention, New Orleans are the Falcons’ division rivals, and it’s not like Ridley is leaving on bad terms.
The 27-year-old wideout is in the prime of his career and will get offers from many NFL teams with more money to offer him.
The whole money problem is already an issue since the option on Ridley’s contract has already been picked up by the Falcons for next year.
Ridley is due a raise from $1.97 million this year to $11.1 million in 2022, fully-guaranteed, so Atlanta will somehow have to make that work in any future trades.
NOLA will continue to be on the prowl for elite wide receiving targets for 2022, but sadly, their options will be severely limited given their current cap space.
The Saints can look wistfully at Ridley all they want, but they can’t have him. Not unless he comes dirt cheap.