5 replacements if Mike Williams leaves the LA Chargers
By Jason Reed
4. Calvin Ridley
After taking time off to focus on his mental health, Calvin Ridley appears likely to be traded from the Atlanta Falcons this offseason. Both sides have reportedly agreed to look for a trade and Ridley is the biggest receiver on the trade block as a result.
Before the 2021 season, we were pounding the table for the Chargers to trade for a different Atlanta Falcons receiver in Julio Jones. While we were criminally wrong in wanting that trade to happen, this is a different scenario. Ridley is much younger than Jones is and arguably has not even peaked.
This would be a great addition for the Bolts for three reasons. First, it would give the team a quality WR2 that has an even higher ceiling than Mike Williams. Imaging Ridley in the Williams-type role next season is a very fun thought. Second, Ridley is young and would be a good option to transition into the WR1 as Allen gets older. Third, his salary cap hit is small this season, allowing the Bolts to manipulate the extra space with front-loaded contracts in free agency.
Since Ridley only has one more year left on his rookie deal and does not have a first-round option the Falcons are not going to get a first-round pick for the receiver. The Falcons will probably get something along the lines of a second-round pick, a future fourth-round pick and a sixth-round pick or two in the 2022 NFL Draft. With four compensatory picks, the Bolts can afford this.
The team could frontload some free agents to fill a need that could have been addressed with the second-round pick. Plus, if the team is going to spend an early-round pick on a receiver, it is arguably better to spend a second-round pick on Ridley rather than a first-round pick on a receiver with a torn ACL.