Back on October 31, Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley announced he was taking a leave of absence from the team for mental health reasons.
Ridley did not appear in a game the rest of the season, leading to speculation about his future in Atlanta. The 2018 first-round pick is under contract for 2022, but recent chatter only fueled the belief he’ll be playing elsewhere next season
Falcons GM Terry Fontenot isn’t ready to give up on Ridley just yet though. Speaking with reporters Tuesday, he said the franchise will continue to support the 27-year-old wideout.
“It really hasn’t changed,” Fontenot said of the team’s commitment to Ridley. “As an organization we’ve done the best job we could just to support Calvin and do everything we can for him.”
Terry Fontenot on Calvin Ridley: “Nothing has changed. We’re going to continue to support Calvin.”
— Tori McElhaney (@tori_mcelhaney) January 11, 2022
Fontenot also added that it would be wrong to assume Ridley will be wearing a different uniform in 2022.
“No, I wouldn’t assume anything. Like I said, we handle each situation individually,” Ridley said. “There are so many variables we deal with. We’re going to try to add to every position this offseason.”
Ridley caught 31 passes for 281 yards and two touchdowns in five games before stepping away. In 2020, he produced 90 receptions for 1,374 yards and nine scores.
First and foremost, hopefully Ridley will find himself in a better place mentally this offseason. Only then can he and the Falcons work out a plan for their relationship moving forward.