Robert Kraft reveals Patriots had impossible hurdle in pursuit of Calvin Ridley

Jacksonville Jaguars v Houston Texans
Jacksonville Jaguars v Houston Texans / Logan Riely/GettyImages

After their slow start to free agency with a focus on re-signing their most valuable players set to hit the market, things picked up when reports began filtering out regarding the Patriots' pursuit of receiver Calvin Ridley.

He was presumed to be their number one target this offseason and would immediately rise to the top of the receiver depth chart, which made it more exciting that de facto general manager Eliot Wolf seemed to be all-in on getting Ridley to Foxboro.

Unfortunately, they weren't the only team trying to persuade him to leave the Jaguars for their team, but it was later revealed the receiver narrowed his options to Jacksonville and New England, a positive sign for the new regime that many have deemed an unfavorable place to play.

Because of the implications surrounding his either re-signing with the Jaguars or going elsewhere before the official start of the new league year, Ridley waited until later in the day to make his final decision.

And that's when all of the hopes and dreams of Patriots fans immediately went down the toilet again.

Patriots had no real chance to sign Calvin Ridley in free agency

Despite reports claiming he was choosing between the Jaguars and the Patriots, Ridley signed with the Titans on a four-year, $92 million deal, including $50 million guaranteed.

Once the details were revealed, the assumption was that the Patriots had likely been ruled out long before, as they have been historically hesitant to pay top dollar for any player, no matter what. But that wasn't the case with Ridley, as they had offered an average salary of $22 million per year, just $1 million less than he's set to make with the Titans.

That made the situation even harder to digest because they were so close to finally landing the game-changing receiver they had needed for so long. This begged the question: Why did Ridley choose to go elsewhere for less money?

The assumption has been due to the team being in the middle of a rebuild with no franchise quarterback under contract and what some call a less desirable environment to play in.

While some of that might be true, Robert Kraft shared the actual details on Tuesday when speaking to reporters at the Annual League Meeting.

The real deciding factor apparently had nothing to do with where the Patriots are in their rebuild, the new coaching staff, or even the money. It all came down to where his wife wanted to be, and because she's from the South, she had no desire to leave.

Even knowing that, the Patriots were so invested in getting him on the team that they offered more money to compensate for the difference in taxes between Massachusetts and Tennessee, but it wasn't enough to convince Ridley to change his mind.

It's hard to say if this makes the fact that they missed out on him worse or better now that we know the truth behind his decision to turn down their contract since it seems there was nothing they could do to change his mind.

But it is what it is, and at least Jerod Mayo has stated they're very much active in trading for a receiver this offseason. Let's hope that happens so we can forget about this Ridley situation altogether.

More Patriots coverage: