2. Second-Round Pick in 2022 and Third-Round Pick 2023 for Calvin Ridley
OK, since the Patriots can’t use high draft picks on wide receivers (it never works out or they just refuse to do it), they might as well trade said selections for proven wide receiver talent. Ridley, the former 26th overall pick back in 2018, has made an unmistakable impact since arriving in the NFL and managed to do so without Julio Jones for much of 2020. It’s evident he can create space and make plays without another top name stealing the focus of the opposing defense.
So, assuming the Patriots plan to sign Ridley beyond 2022, don’t you think a second-rounder in 2022 and a third-rounder in 2023 is fair? If the Falcons plan to rebuild (what are they doing?) the more picks in the next few years will go a long way in solving their problems.
Ridley just isn’t going to command a first-rounder unless another team wildly out-bids the pack. He’ll have played in just 20 games over the last two years heading into 2022 and there are some question marks regarding his future with the way he stepped away from the game in 2021.
The Patriots will have to be tasked with extending him should they finalize a trade, assuming they want Ridley to be a part of their future, which will be another layer to this process.
If second- and third-round picks don’t do it, then Belichick should be fine walking away from negotiations. Ridley is a special talent, but with only one guaranteed year remaining and one 1,000-yard season under his belt, it’s hard to take much more of a risk than that.