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Steelers Not in Mix for Top Free Agent Wide Receiver Calvin Ridley



Calvin Ridley

The Pittsburgh Steelers have released one starting wide receiver from 2023 and traded another, but they do not appear to be in the mix for the top free agent available in the 2024 NFL free agency class.

The Steelers are not among the finalist for Jacksonville Jaguars star receiver Calvin Ridley, according to a report by Jonathan Jones of CBS Sports. Jones said that Ridley is considering an offer from the New England Patriots, and also considering a return to Jacksonville, with the Jaguars the current favorites to re-sign the wide receiver.

Jones said Florida’s lower taxes could tilt the scales toward Jacksonville if New England offers a similar contract amount. Ridley will likely wait until after the 4 p.m. start of the new league year.

That’s because, as part of his trade from the Atlanta Falcons to the Jaguars in 2022, Jacksonville would owe a second-round pick instead of a third-round pick if he-signs with the Jaguars before the start of the new year.

Atlanta’s first-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft out of Alabama, Ridley had a promising start with the Falcons, and his career-best season came in Atlanta in 2020, when he caught 143 passes for 1,374 yards and nine touchdowns.

In 2021, he stepped away from the team in October, citing mental-health reasons. He then was suspended in May for the entire 2022 season for betting on games while he was away from the team.

The Jaguars traded for Ridley, even knowing that he would sit out the entire 2022 season, sending a sixth- and third-round picks to Atlanta.

With Jacksonville in 2023, Ridley caught 136 passes for 1,016 yards and eight touchdowns. 

The Steelers have released veteran slot receiver Allen Robinson II and traded star outside receiver Diontae Johnson this month, leaving the team very needy at the wide receiver position, but they apparently are not in the running to land the top free agent available.