The Eagles are playoff bound and there is plenty to be excited about in the short-term. However, the fact that the team owns a trio of first-round picks for the upcoming NFL Draft and will finally have some cap space to work with should jubilate fans who are looking further down the line. There are plenty of ways in which Howie Roseman could deploy his draft arsenal, but a trade should never be out of the question…especially when a name like Calvin Ridley could be available.
According to NFL Network’s Steve Wyche, Calvin Ridley’s future is very much up in the air. He told the “Dukes and Bell” show that the fact both sides have been quiet on the negotiation front could point to a future where Ridley and the Falcons mutually agree to a fresh start. Should the Eagles be interested?
DeVonta Smith is the best receiver the Eagles have had since the days of DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin. Not just from a production perspective, but from one of star-quality. The Heisman winner simply oozes star potential and has been nothing short of excellent in his first NFL season.
Outside of Smith’s ability to toast any NFL DB standing in front of him, the WR picture has remained bleak. Jalen Reagor has struggled throughout the season with consistency and although Quez Watkins has been explosive in bunches, putting up 563 yards, the Eagles have been overly dependent on DeVonta Smith and Dallas Goedert, who have combined for 176 of 287 total QB targets.
They don’t need a star wideout opposite Smith, because #6 does more than enough on that side of the field to hold his own and you wouldn’t want to have too many chefs in the kitchen or limit his ceiling. Partnered with the fact that the Eagles have built the most dominant rushing attack in the league, there’s no guarantee that Ridley would be given the volume he commanded during his first three seasons in Atlanta. But would that really be such an issue?
Ridley hasn’t suited up for the Falcons for most of the year, stepping away from football after five games to take time for his mental health.
He’ll be entering the option year of his contract in 2022 so it’s not like the Eagles would have to free up a ton of cap space to acquire him, with his cap-hit coming in at around $11M.
Depending on how fractured the relationship between team and player is, the Falcons may command a high price for Ridley, or settle for a cheaper deal if it also includes the means to finding a replacement.
With three first-round picks, the Eagles certainly have enough ammunition to barge their way to the front of the queue if they see fit. How much capital would they need to give up in order to land him? That’s something very few will be able to accurately depict in what will ultimately be a very volatile situation.
Ridley would be a snug fit for the Eagles from a character standpoint. He’s a graduate of Alabama and obviously has a longstanding relationship with his collegiate quarterback, Jalen Hurts. The pair spent two years working together and have had nothing but glowing things to say about one another since making the leap to the NFL level.
With DeVonta Smith and Landon Dickerson both also in the fold, this would emphasize would be a clear cultural push to bring in likeminded players who have been molded by Nick Saban.
Provided that the Eagles could work out a long-term deal, it would be hard to turn your nose up at the idea of Calvin Ridley lining up opposite DeVonta Smith, with Jalen Hurts slinging them the rock.
This would obviously push Jalen Reagor out of the equation, but he’s also a former first-round pick who could benefit from a change of scenery. His value won’t be anywhere near enough to swing a deal, but should be enough to sweeten one and ensure that there isn’t a logjam in Philadelphia that would only continue to limit what Jalen Reagor can provide.
It’s still early
A lot can change between now and the NFL offseason. There’s names like Allen Robinson, Chris Godwin, Davante Adams, and Keelan Cole who could all be logical fits at WR, some WR1 and others WR2. This may deflate the value of Ridley given how many premium pass-catchers are available and give the Eagles a much better shot at landing a younger name who has already proven himself to be WR1 caliber.
It all comes down to how Nick Sirianni and Howie Roseman view the offense. Could the Eagles be successful with two WR1 caliber players on their roster, or do they need a devout X-receiver and a Z with differing qualities in order to bring variety to the offense?
Only time will tell, but Howie Roseman should have his binoculars out and examining the situation very, very closely.
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