What Calvin Ridley’s suspension means for Falcons offseason plans

Products You May Like

What Calvin Ridley’s suspension means for Falcons’ offseason plans.

The NFL has suspended Atlanta Falcons receiver Calvin Ridley for the 2022 season for gambling on games during the season.

In a statement by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, the league said that Ridley took part in this activity while away from the team’s facility.

“NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell today suspended Calvin Ridley of the Atlanta Falcons indefinitely through at least the conclusion of the 2022 season for betting on NFL games in the 2021 season. The activity took place during a five-day period in late November 2021 while Ridley was not with the team and was away from the club’s facility on the non-football illness list.”

Atlanta already has a number of needs to fill during the free agency and the draft. Losing Ridley is one of the biggest losses in the league. Ridley was clearly the top option for the Falcons. With Ridley now out of the 2022 season, the remaining options outside of Kyle Pitts on the roster are Chad Hansen, Brayden Lenius, and Austin Trammell. In other words, no one should be considered a reliable alternative for Ridley.

The draft is next month and the Falcons own the eighth overall pick. There are a number of needs on the roster Atlanta has to fill, but now the organization may be forced into drafting a wideout with its first-round pick.

Now, this draft does have a lot of depth at the position and, while the Falcons defense is horrid, selecting a wideout at eight is not the worst option. Receivers such as Treylon Burks, Drake London, and Garrett Wilson are viable options, and may all be available by the time the Falcons are on the clock.

Burks is a big-bodied receiver that plays physically while possessing elite elusiveness and route-running ability. London is another big target down the field. Although not as physical as Burks, London has proven to be versatile in the slot and outside, while being a red zone threat. Wilson is a very elusive receiver that can be potent all over the field. With this recent news, Atlanta will probably have to address the receiver position with its first pick.

Another route the Falcons can go, and one that I think makes the most sense, is to move back and accumulate more picks. The eighth spot is a prime position for a team like the Steelers to trade up to and select a quarterback like Malik Willis.

As stated earlier, this draft possesses immense depth at the wide receiver position, and there should still be options that warrant a mid-late first-round pick. Chris Olave and Jameson Williams are names that come to mind at this position in the first round.

The Atlanta Falcons have the No. 8 pick in the 2022 NFL Draft

Drafting defense at the eighth overall pick is something I do not expect the Falcons to do now that the options on offense are so putrid. The league is predicated on the offensive side of the ball, and with an immobile, aging quarterback like Matt Ryan, having a go-to option is monumental. In addition, the Falcons are in a division where good offensive play may be hard to come by with the lack of quarterback play.

If things do not drastically change at the quarterback position for these other NFC South teams, the Falcons could be more encouraged to build around the offense. It is something that has not led to a lot of success lately for Atlanta, but the quarterback landscape has not been as weak as it looks now in the NFC South.

With the salary cap rising, Atlanta is currently sitting with just under $4 million, according to Spotrac, with little room to maneuver. The Falcons could cut Grady Jarrett and save $16.5 million while eating a little over $7 million in dead money. Ridley’s suspension may have trickle-down effects on the Falcons’ offseason plans.

Products You May Like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *