Falcons take Cordarrelle Patterson’s shirt too literally, trade Calvin Ridley to the AFC

Oh no. The New Orleans Saints won’t have to worry about Calvin Ridley anymore — the Atlanta Falcons traded their suspended wide receiver to the Jacksonville Jaguars hours ahead of the 2022 NFL trade deadline, dealing an embattled superstar to a team in a whole other conference.

Ironically, and painfully for Falcons faithful, this comes just days after Ridley’s teammate Cordarrelle Patterson was seen patrolling the Atlanta sidelines in a “Free Calvin Ridley” shirt advocating for his friend’s suspension to be lifted. Ridley was suspended for an entire year after a gambling scandal in which he was accused of placing bets on games including his own team while inactive with an injury. It looks like the Falcons took Patterson’s message too literally.

And the return Atlanta is getting for trading Ridley is kind of complicated. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that if Ridley is reinstated before a specific date, the Jaguars will give up a 2023 fifth rounder (otherwise it’s a sixth-round pick). But if Ridley is on the roster in 2024, Jacksonville also sends out a 2024 fourth rounder. That pick becomes a third rounder if Ridley meets certain incentives for play time and performance. If he signs a long-term contract extension with Jacksonville, the Falcons will receive a 2024 second rounder.

So there are some hoops to jump through here, and the ramifications of this trade won’t be felt for quite some time (Ridley won’t even be eligible to play this season). At the end of the day, it just means that Ridley won’t suit up against the Saints twice a year anymore. New Orleans will host the Jaguars in 2023, but there’s a chance Ridley’s suspension won’t have even been lifted by then. It’s a storyline to watch out for over the next few months.

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Story originally appeared on Saints Wire