The New England Patriots‘ offseason will once again feature a lot of turnover, but it’ll look more like last year than the previous year. Expect a few departures but mostly positive additions, one of which should feature a No. 1 receiver.
There is one issue, however. The Patriots don’t have a lot of money to spend ($26.6 million, to be exact) after going on a free agent spree last year. Unless they shed a number of higher salaries, it’ll be hard to sign guys like Davante Adams and Mike Williams, both of whom will be available on the open market.
So why not explore the trade market? Luckily for the Pats, reports from last week indicated that the Atlanta Falcons and wide receiver Calvin Ridley were expected to part ways after the 2021 season. The former Alabama star has one year remaining on his rookie deal that will pay him $11.1 million.
Maybe a trade and an extension? Ridley’s value isn’t exactly sky-high after he played only five games this year after deciding to take the rest of the season off to focus on his mental health. The Patriots aren’t going to have to overspend with assets here. And they even have some players on the current roster that might satisfy the Falcons’ asking price.
So what’ll it take?
These 3 trade packages could bring Calvin Ridley to the Patriots.
3. Michael Onwenu Straight up for Calvin Ridley
Outsiders will laugh at this one, especially because Onwenu has lost playing time to Trent Brown’s return, but last season the former Michigan offensive lineman was viewed as the steal of the 2020 NFL Draft. Taken in the sixth round, Onwenu made an immediate impact on the Patriots’ front and was able to play multiple positions.
It’s unclear why New England felt the need to further upgrade with Brown and then use Ted Karras more on the inside, but that’s what happened. Since Week 10, Onwenu has been deemphasized, but he’s admirably filling a backup role on the O-line.
He very much a starter, though. And the Falcons can further bolster their offensive line by acquiring him, especially if the Patriots decide to retain both Brown and Karras, which they likely will. Even better for Atlanta is that Onwenu has two very cost-efficient years remaining on his rookie contract, which will greatly help their cap space situation (they’re somehow $27 million in the red!).
Nonetheless, this is our first proposal because non-Patriots fans will laugh at it since they don’t know much about Onwenu and his size/impact along the offensive line.