NFL reinstates Jaguars trade acquisition Calvin Ridley
While free agency doesn't start until next week, and the draft doesn't start until April, the Jacksonville Jaguars have started the process of adding to their roster. On Monday, it was announced that the AFC South Champions received a huge boost on offense as receiver Calvin Ridley was reinstated into the NFL, which means he can begin his career as a Jaguar.
The Jags traded for Ridley on Nov. 1 of last season, who was suspended at the time due to betting on NFL games in 2021. While the wagers he made took place when he was on the non-football illness list and away from the Atlanta Falcons' facility, they still violated the NFL's gambling policy, which prohibits players from gambling on NFL games.
However, Ridley's mistake is now behind him, and the former first-round pick is ready for his journey with a new team.
"Today's reinstatement by the NFL brings an end to a challenging chapter of my professional career, one that was self-inflicted and began with an isolated lapse in judgement," he said, according to Jaguars.com. "I have always owned my mistakes, and this is no different. I have great respect for the game and am excited for the opportunity to restart my career in Jacksonville. I look forward to showing my new coaches, teammates, and the entire Jaguars organization exactly who I am and what I represent as a player and person."
Ridley will join the Jags after accumulating 248 career receptions for 3,242 yards and 28 touchdowns in Atlanta. Ridley hasn't played in a game since Oct. 24 of 2021 (against the Miami Dolphins), as he revealed that he needed some time away from football a week after. However, various reports and videos have surfaced that prove Ridley has been working hard during his time off.
Ridley will join and bolster a Jags offense that was tenth overall in the regular season. With several skill players like quarterback Trevor Lawrence, running back Travis Etienne, tight end Evan Engram, and receivers Zay Jones and Christian Kirk already in place, the Jags could creep closer to being a Top-5 unit in 2023 with Ridley's addition.