New York Jets veteran wide receiver option roster dropped two names on Monday
Adding an expensive name to the wide receiver position is something many New York Jets fans hoped the team would do in the 2022 offseason.
On Monday, the Jets’ chances of achieving that goal took a big hit.
Two of the Jets’ most realistic options are no longer available: Chris Godwin of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (unrestricted free agent) and Calvin Ridley of the Atlanta Falcons (trade block).
Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reported that Ridley was suspended for a year for playing NFL games during the 2021 season.
#Hawks WR Calvin Ridley has been suspended for a year for betting on NFL games during the season.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 7, 2022
Ridley played five games during the 2021 season before walking away from the team for what he cited as mental health reasons, missing the rest of the year after the Falcons placed him on the list of non-football related injuries (NFI). While he was away, Ridley bet on games, including Falcons games.
Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network reports that the NFL’s investigation of Ridley “did not uncover any evidence to indicate that inside information was used or that a game was compromised in any way.”
A source briefed on the NFL’s investigation into Calvin Ridley’s play tells me the bets involved the #Hawks.
The NFL’s statement said the investigation “did not uncover any evidence to indicate that inside information was used or that a game was compromised in any way.”
—Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) March 7, 2022
With Ridley entering a contract year in 2022, trade rumors began to circulate once it was clear his relationship with the team was fracturing. NFL Network’s Steve Wyche appeared on a radio show in Atlanta in January and said “it looks like both sides might be looking for a fresh start.”
Asked if Calvin Ridley’s future with the Falcons is in jeopardy @wyche89 recount @MikeBellATL & @putemupcdukes ” I think so. The fact that he and the team have been so quiet and he hasn’t surfaced, it seems both parties might be looking for a fresh start. #dirtybirds
— DukesandBell929 (@DukesandBell929) January 4, 2022
Also on Monday, it was reported that the Buccaneers are set to use the franchise tag on Chris Godwin, according to USA Today Sports’ Tyler Dragon.
The Bucs are expected to franchise tag WR Chris Godwin before Tuesday’s deadline, per source.
— TylerDragon (@TheTylerDragon) March 7, 2022
This is the second straight year that Tampa Bay has passed Godwin. He earned $15,983,000 on the tag in 2020. A second consecutive tag requires the player to earn 120% of his previous salary, so Godwin would earn $19,179,600 this season if he plays there without signing a deal long-term.
With Godwin and Ridley now off the market, the Jets find themselves with a shrinking list of options to find a star-caliber upgrade for their wide receiver.
Green Bay’s Davante Adams is set to become a free agent, although he may be in the hunt for a record deal in his 30s. The Cowboys’ Amari Cooper appears to be on the verge of leaving his Dallas as the team will reportedly try to seek a trade and then release Cooper if they can’t process him.
The Cowboys are “likely” to release WR Amari Copper by the start of the league’s new year, according to league sources.
Cooper owes $20 million in fully guaranteed money on the fifth day of the league’s new year, March 20.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 4, 2022
Chicago’s Allen Robinson is a free agent. He has star-caliber talent, as he entered 2021 after back-to-back seasons with over 1,110 yards and seven touchdowns, but he endured a very disappointing 2021 season.
New Orleans’ Michael Thomas and Houston’s Brandin Cooks are two other multiple 1,000-yard receivers rumored to be candidates for the trade block.
Apart from these players, the 2022 wide receiver market lacks other bonafide stars. However, the free agency pool has some intriguing complementary names like Mike Williams, Christian Kirk, Michael Gallup, DJ Chark and JuJu Smith-Schuster.