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Saturday January 28th, 2023 6:43PM

Falcons trade suspended WR Ridley to Jaguars in complex deal

By The Associated Press
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Suspended Atlanta receiver Calvin Ridley is getting a fresh start in Jacksonville, although it's unclear when he will be allowed to play again.

The Jaguars made a complex deal to land Ridley just before the NFL trading deadline Tuesday. A person with knowledge of the trade says compensation to the Falcons ranges between a second-round pick in 2024 and a sixth-rounder. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because details had not been made public.

The pick is contingent on when Ridley gets reinstated, how much he plays and whether he signs a long-term deal with the Jaguars.

Ridley tweeted “Duuuval” with two emojis of faces with steam coming from both nostrils, relaying the team’s rallying cry.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell suspended Ridley in March for at least the 2022 season after a league investigation determined Ridley bet on NFL games in 2021 while away from the team addressing mental health concerns. The league said the suspension will carry “through at least the conclusion of the 2022 season.”

The NFL said the betting took place during a five-day period in late November 2021. Ridley was placed on the non-football illness list following Week 8 last season, which ended Nov. 1.

Ridley responded on his Twitter account that day, saying “I bet 1500 total I don’t have a gambling problem.”

He also seemed to take a light-hearted approach to his suspension when he added in another post that said, “I know I was wrong But I’m getting 1 year lol.” He added: “Just gone be more healthy when I come back.”

A league investigation uncovered no evidence inside information was used or that any game was compromised by Ridley’s betting, Goodell’s announcement said. Nor was there evidence suggesting Falcons coaches, players or staff were aware of Ridley’s betting activity.

Ridley may petition for reinstatement after Feb. 23, 2023.

The suspension wasn’t the first time Ridley had not been available to the Falcons. He sat out the final two months of the 2021 season and explained his absence in a Twitter post that read, “I need to step away from football at this time and focus on my mental well being.”

Ridley was Atlanta’s 2018 first-round draft pick from Alabama. He had 90 catches for 1,374 yards and nine touchdowns in 2020. He was expected to be Matt Ryan’s top playmaker after Julio Jones was traded to Tennessee before the 2021 season. But Ridley had only 31 receptions for 281 yards and two touchdowns before sitting out the final two months of the season.

He is scheduled to count $11.1 million against Jacksonville's salary cap in 2023, which is the final year of his rookie deal.

___

AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

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