Report: Patriots expected to ‘swing big’ for free agent WR Calvin Ridley

After missing out on Tee Higgins, Mike Evans and Michael Pittman Jr., the New England Patriots are reportedly expected to “swing big” on Jacksonville Jaguars pending free agent wide receiver Calvin Ridley.

ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler noted the Patriots, who were also interested in former Denver Broncos wideout Jerry Jeudy, will be a team to keep an eye on as a potential suitor for the former All-Pro receiver.

Fowler wrote:

Expect the Patriots to swing big on receiver Calvin Ridley. The Jaguars are very interested in keeping Ridley but haven’t been able to close the deal.

The Patriots were in on Jerry Jeudy before the receiver was traded to Cleveland, but they wanted to wait until free agency before committing to a receiver, likely because they have their eyes on a few.

Receiver has been one of the biggest needs on the Patriots’ roster for quite some time. Rookie sixth-round draft pick Demario Douglas, who works predominantly out of the slot, was the best wideout on the team after Kendrick Bourne went down with a knee injury in Week 8 last season.

Ridley missed more than a year-and-a-half of football and came back with a vengeance in 2023 with 76 catches for 1,016 yards and eight touchdowns.

Adding the former first-round pick wideout to a receiving corps that already has Douglas, while potentially selecting one or two rookies at the 2024 NFL draft, could drastically reshape the unit. There’s also the possibility the Patriots double dip in free agency. A receiving corps of Ridley, Douglas and Arizona Cardinals free agent wideout Marquise “Hollywood” Brown would also be solid.

With that said, the Patriots might have to overpay talent to convince them to come to New England. It might not be good enough to merely offer a little more than Jacksonville for a player like Ridley, especially when there’s so much uncertainty at the quarterback position.

Story originally appeared on Patriots Wire