Calvin Ridley has motivation not to sign with Patriots before start of free agency

Jacksonville Jaguars v Cleveland Browns
Jacksonville Jaguars v Cleveland Browns / Gregory Shamus/GettyImages

The Patriots continue working to bring receiver Calvin Ridley to New England for the 2024 season but have encountered some roadblocks in completing a deal. As of the latest reporting, the Jaguars are still in the mix to retain the free agent, so Ridley's decision comes down to those two teams.

It's unfortunate for the Patriots since they desperately need added talent to their offense, especially if they plan to select a quarterback in this year's draft. It's certainly good news that Ridley is seriously considering them, and they have apparently extended an offer, but he may have a hidden motivation not to sign with any team until after the official start of free agency on Wednesday.

And what could that be, you might ask?

Looking back at Ridley's trade from the Falcons to the Jaguars in 2022, a few conditions were included that ultimately benefit the Falcons, some of which have already been accomplished.

One condition was that he had to be on Jacksonville's roster in Week 1 and play in their regular season opener in 2023, which he did. Because of that, the Falcons were set to receive a 2024 fourth-round pick. That then became a third-round pick after Ridley was on the field for more than 60% of offensive snaps and/or recorded more than 75 receptions or 1,000 yards.

Of course, he also accomplished that, so Atlanta was good to receive a third-round pick for this upcoming draft.

The third condition is why he might hesitate to move before tomorrow's official start of free agency. If he "re-signs with Jacksonville, the conditional pick to the Falcons would become a second-rounder," according to NFL insider Adam Schefter.

That may not mean much, but it could mean Ridley intends to stay with his current team. If he's holding off on signing with a team until tomorrow, it more than likely equates to staying with the Jaguars and not wanting them to have to send a pick to the Falcons.

If he were planning on going to the Patriots, this wouldn't necessarily be a factor, which is disappointing news if true. He could be trying to do a solid for his old team, and they know he's planning to sign elsewhere, but there's no loyalty in sports, right? So that doesn't seem like something he needs to even think about.

We'll have to wait and see what happens, but the Patriots' situation doesn't look good.

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