Will Cleveland Browns pursue Calvin Ridley?
By Randy Gurzi
Reports have surfaced that the Atlanta Falcons and wide receiver Calvin Ridley could be headed for a divorce. Should the Cleveland Browns be interested?
It’s no secret that the Cleveland Browns need some help at wide receiver. After moving on from Odell Beckham, Jr., their cupboard ended up being rather bare.
That’s not saying they were wrong to release OBJ but the truth is, they need a new No. 1 guy. And while the 2022 NFL Draft is a likely source for them to find their next starter, there will be other options — including Calvin Ridley who could be on the way out with the Atlanta Falcons.
Reports have surfaced that Ridley and the team could be looking for a fresh start and if that’s the case, one reporter who covers the team thinks Cleveland should be interested. She also added that Cleveland could be a great place for Ridley, who stepped away from the game this season to focus on his mental health.
"“The Browns have been a safe landing spot for several players who need some understanding and a good support system, including Ridley’s former Falcons teammate Takk McKinley and defensive tackle Malik McDowell. If they do their due diligence and determine that Ridley is truly ready for a return to the game, it would be worth exploring.” — Cabot, Cleveland.com"
Ridley had more than 800 yards in each of his first three seasons in the NFL including a 2020 campaign with 1,374 yards on 90 receptions. This past season, he played in just five games and had 31 receptions for 281 yards with a career-worst 9.1 yards per reception.
Of course, the team was off to a slow start under new head coach Arthur Smith — and Ridley was also apparently dealing with other issues beyond the game, which is why he stepped away.
As for his talent, there’s no question he would be a huge help in Cleveland. Ridley is a very cerebral route-runner who might not have elite size (6-foot-1 and 190-pounds) but his ability to be exactly where he’s supposed to be would make him an ideal fit in the Kevin Stefanski offense.
Of course, there’s also the question of price. The Browns don’t need to spend another first-round pick on a wideout but if they could land the 27-year-old Ridley for a day two pick, it could be worth it.