The Miami Dolphins should get Calvin Ridley, but maybe the shouldn’t

Oct 3, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley (18) runs after a catch against the Washington Football Team in the second quarter at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 3, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley (18) runs after a catch against the Washington Football Team in the second quarter at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports /

Look I realize that many of you saw this headline and were instantly annoyed at the straddling the fence act that I’m doing here. But I really am quite torn about whether or not the Miami Dolphins should pursue Calvin Ridley or just look elsewhere for receiver help next year.

According to Jeremy Fowler, the Dolphins are a potential landing spot for the 27-year-old wide receiver.

"ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported the “market would be robust” for Ridley with the New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints and Miami Dolphins listed as potential landing spots."

I understand that the Dolphins still don’t have a head coach at the moment and that head coach is going to be bringing in a whole new staff with a whole new system of offense. The thing is that Calvin Ridley is good enough to play in any offense whether it be a RPO based one, or a ground and pound style that leads to play-action passing or a downfield attack You fill in the blanks using those context clues you’ve developed in elementary school on which coaching candidates that the Dolphins have or are about to interview represent those methodologies.

In Calvin Ridley’s first three seasons in the league, he had 3,061 yards on 217 catches with 26 touchdowns. That’s pretty phenomenal if you ask me. It should be a no-brainer for the Dolphins to try and make a trade for a guy that seems like he wants out of Atlanta.

The going rate for Calvin Ridley is anybody’s guess. My guess would be around a late first to early second or maybe a second that can become a 1st based on hitting incentives. My guess comes partially from what others, such as Rob Goldberg of Bleacher Report, have reported that one NFL executive has said. But honestly, I don’t think you have to sling Johny Walker with some executive to get trade secrets out of him to know that a player of Ridley’s caliber, given his age would fetch somewhere around a 1st to a 2nd.

The money would have to be figured out because Ridley is entering the last year of his rookie contract. He’s scheduled to make $11.6m in 2022. My guess would be that whoever would be acquiring him will be thinking of locking him down for the foreseeable future.

If the Dolphins were to obtain Calvin Ridley, it would be another former Alabama wide receiver that Tua Tagovailoa used to throw passes in college. Drafting Jaylen Waddle was one of the only things that worked for Tua this year so maybe another stud college teammate will make him even better. Works for me. Pairing Ridley with Waddle, hopefully Gesicki, possibly Parker, and probably another receiver would really make whatever this offense is going to look like pop.

But there’s a big catch here and no that isn’t a reception pun unless you want it to be and that’s that Calvin Ridley stopped playing football in 2021 sighting that he needed to focus on his “mental well-being.” Ridley missed 12 games this year when he left the team.

I’m all for players focusing on their mentals when they think they need it. If Calvin Ridley thought that he would be hurting his team and himself by trying to play when he couldn’t, I say you go do you. Who am I to say to a guy I never met that he needs to play football when he doesn’t want to. Now how that works financially with the team, could be a different story. I believe the Falcons have paid Ridley for his entire 2021 salary.

It’s a somewhat tricky situation because I’m all for players doing whatever they need to take care of themselves. It doesn’t matter what the body part is. And the brain, I feel, is the most important asset we have as humans. So I think taking care of that should be paramount.

But I also believe that when we’re faced with adversity that we need to do whatever we can to overcome it. When it comes to Calvin Ridley and what he was dealing with, I have not the faintest idea what he was going through. So I’m in no position to judge him or anybody else for that matter. Again, you do you.

But that doesn’t mean that the Dolphins have to go out and try and acquire Calvin Ridley and the fact that you simply don’t know if he’ll be around every game is a good reason to look elsewhere in bolstering the receiving core. Investing a high draft pick and potentially a big new contract to Ridley isn’t as much of a slam dunk as you would think it would be and that’s solely because of what happened this year. That’s the reality of the situation.

The Dolphins just had, potentially, the worst free-agent signing in team history in Will Fuller. He hurt his finger in like week 5 and we never saw him again. Not one of us believe for one minute that he missed the rest of the season with a broken finger. Obviously, something else was happening behind the scenes that not really any of us know what was really going on. Speculating why Fuller missed two-thirds of the season is pointless and I’m not going to do it. I’m just going to say it wasn’t because of a finger injury.

Bringing in Calvin Ridley, when you have no idea if he’s going to step away from the game with a non-football injury like a knee, leg, chest, or any one of the typical football injuries is tough to do reconcile. We know, far too well, that the best ability is availability and I’m just not sure it’s worth trading for a guy that could leave at a moment’s notice. It’s nothing personal but it would be a big and quite honestly scary move.

If the price is right like Miami’s second-round pick, then I say go for it. But if the numbers aren’t adding up plus the fact that Calvin Ridley has already left a team once, then I think the Dolphins should pass. Sparing themselves a repeat of Will Fuller would be very understandable.

This is all why I’m not sure what the Dolphins should do concerning Ridley. I’m sure, whoever is the head coach and Chris Grier, will look into it. All I can say right now is that I hope they make the right call. And who knows, maybe Ridley won’t even be leaving Atlanta. Anything is possible I suppose. Maybe Calvin Ridley needs a change of scenery and he’ll be just fine. Miami makes people happy or at least that’s how I felt when I’ve been down there.

By the Way- I know there’s nothing I can do to prevent this but let’s try and refrain from calling everyone soft and that mental illness is fake, can we? We all know everyone was so much tougher back in the 70s and 80s and they will tell you all about it without being asked. But we get it. We really do. Always remember that your parent’s generation thinks you’re soft as well.