Falcons trade suspended Calvin Ridley to Jaguars

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Jacksonville Jaguars got a much-needed No. 1 receiver for quarterback Trevor Lawrence -- for 2023, at least.

The team on Tuesday traded for suspended Atlanta Falcons receiver Calvin Ridley, who is sitting out at least the 2022 season for gambling on NFL games.

The earliest Ridley can apply for reinstatement is Feb. 15, 2023.

"We are excited to welcome Calvin Ridley to our organization and the Duval community," Jaguars general manager Trent Baalke said in a statement. "This is an opportunity to add a proven playmaker to our already talented wide receiver room as we continue to build our roster for 2023 and beyond. We are looking forward to finishing strong this season and integrating Calvin into our program at the appropriate time."

In exchange, the Falcons would receive a 2023 fifth-round pick and a 2024 conditional fourth-round selection, sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter. The conditional pick could become a third-rounder if Ridley reaches certain incentives in 2023, or it could become a second-rounder if he's signed to an extension.

In another move at Tuesday's trade deadline, the Falcons acquired cornerback Rashad Fenton from the Kansas City Chiefs, who got a conditional seventh-round pick in return. Atlanta also sent safety Dean Marlowe to the Buffalo Bills in exchange for a 2023 seven-rounder.

Ridley, the 26th overall pick in 2018, has one more year remaining on his rookie contract. It would be the fifth-year option and he is scheduled to earn $11.12 million next season.

Ridley, who turns 28 on Dec. 20, had 248 catches for 3,342 yards and 28 touchdowns in 49 games with the Falcons, including 90 catches for 1,374 yards and nine touchdowns in 2020.

The Jaguars signed receivers Christian Kirk (four years, $72 million, $37 million guaranteed) and Zay Jones (three years, $24 million, $14 million guaranteed) to free-agent contracts last March. Receiver Marvin Jones Jr. is scheduled to become a free agent after this season and the Jaguars are not expected to bring him back.

Ripley would be the Jaguars' No. 1 receiver and would allow Kirk, the team's ' leading receiver this season with 35 catches for 498 yards and four touchdowns, to play primarily in the slot, where he's at his best.

Ridley gives the Jaguars the downfield threat they haven't had since Allen Robinson left following the 2017 season. Ridley, who averaged 13.5 yards per catch with the Falcons, has 49 catches of 20 or more yards and five catches of 50 or more yards in his career.

Ridley left the Falcons on Oct. 31, 2021, and said in a statement that he "needed to step away from football at this time and focus on my mental wellbeing."

On March 7 the NFL announced that Ridley was suspended for at least the 2022 season after an investigation found that he bet on NFL games over a five-day stretch in November 2021. A league source told Schefter in March that the league determined that Riley placed parlay bets that included the Falcons to win via his mobile devise out of state. In a series of tweets after the suspension was announced Ridley admitted he bets totaled $1,500 but said he doesn't have a gambling problem.

Shortly after the trade was reported on social media on Tuesday, Ridley posted a photoshopped photo of himself wearing a No. 8 Jaguars jersey on his Instagram account along with "Florida boy coming home let's get it."

In Fenton, the Falcons are getting a cornerback who has played 47 games with 15 starts over his three-plus years with the Chiefs.

Fenton started the first five games of the season for the Chiefs before missing the last two with a hamstring injury, but his outlook for playing time upon his return dimmed with the imminent return of rookie Trent McDuffie from a hamstring injury.

McDuffie has been out of the Chiefs' lineup since injuring his hamstring in the season opener but is likely to play against the Tennessee Titans on Sunday night. L'Jarius Sneed is the other starter. The Chiefs have also been pleased with the development of rookie corners Jaylen Watson and Josh Williams.

ESPN's Adam Teicher contributed to this report.