The Atlanta Falcons made a shocking trade prior to the NFL deadline Tuesday, sending Pro Bowl wide receiver Calvin Ridley, who is serving a one-year suspension, to the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The compensation for the Falcons is a 2023 fifth-round pick and a conditional 2024 fourth-round pick that can rise based on several conditions, per ESPN.
If Ridley stays on the Jaguars’ roster, it will remain a fourth-rounder.
However, it can become a third-round pick if he hits unspecified incentives. And it could become a second-round pick if Ridley signs a contract extension with Jacksonville.
“We are excited to welcome Calvin Ridley to our organization and the Duval community,” Jaguars general manager Trent Baalke said in a statement. “This is an opportunity to add a proven playmaker to our already talented wide receiver room as we continue to build our roster for 2023 and beyond. We are looking forward to finishing strong this season and integrating Calvin into our program at the appropriate time.”
Ridley was suspended for the 2022 season for betting on NFL games, the league announced in March. He reportedly bet on games during a five-day period in late November 2021 while he was away from the Falcons’ facility with an illness.
One of those games was between the Jaguars and the Falcons.
The earliest he can be reinstated is Feb. 15, 2023, the league said.
During its investigation, the league noted there was no evidence indicating any inside information was used or that any game was compromised in any way from the bets Ridley placed. There was also no evidence that any coaches, staff, teammates or other players were aware of his betting activity.
“For decades, gambling on NFL games has been considered among the most significant violations of league policy warranting the most substantial sanction. In your case, I acknowledge and commend you for your promptly reporting for an interview, and for admitting your actions,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell wrote in a letter to Ridley.
Ridley tweeted after the news, saying, “I bet 1500 total I don’t have a gambling problem.”
Ridley was away from the Falcons five weeks into the 2021 season to focus on his mental health. He finished that year with 31 receptions for 281 yards and two touchdowns.
The Jaguars get a top target for their young quarterback Trevor Lawrence after they spent a good amount of cap space to land Christian Kirk, Evan Engram and other pieces for their team. Travis Etienne Jr., their first-round pick from a season ago who has picked up his play of late, anchors the run game.
Ridley’s last full season was the best of his young career. He caught 90 passes on 143 targets for 1,374 yards and nine touchdowns in 2020.
Ridley had his fifth-year option exercised, which gives him one year to play with the Jaguars in 2023 before he becomes a free agent.