NFL free agency 2024: Titans swoop in, sign Calvin Ridley to four-year, $92M deal, including $50M guaranteed

Never count out the mystery team. After days of Calvin Ridley reportedly mulling a free agent decision between the Jacksonville Jaguars and New England Patriots, the star wide receiver has instead signed with the Tennessee Titans, according to CBS Sports lead NFL insider Jonathan Jones. Ridley will earn $92 million over the course of the contract, including $50 million fully guaranteed. 

This is a rather stunning turn of events considering that Jacksonville and New England were the two key players for Ridley’s services from the start of the legal tampering period. That said, Jones did note on Tuesday that there could be a darkhorse lurking in the shadows of this sweepstakes. That ultimately proved to be Tennessee. 

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This move now ends Ridley’s two-year stint with the Jaguars. While he was technically with the team for two years, the wideout was still serving his suspension for violating the NFL’s gambling policy when Jacksonville traded for him in a deal with the Atlanta Falcons in the middle of the 2022 season. Upon reinstatement, Ridley played all 17 games for the Jags in 2023, catching 76 passes for 1,016 yards and eight touchdowns. 

The 29-year-old entered the league as a first-round pick of the Falcons in 2018 out of Alabama and was establishing himself as one of the top receivers in the league after the 2020 campaign where he caught 90 balls for 1,374 yards. However, Ridley did step away from football for mental health reasons in the middle of the 2021 season and then was suspended for the following year in March of 2022 for gambling violations, which put a dent in his upward trajectory. 

After a reset year with the Jaguars, Ridley now cashes in with Tennessee and will join an offense that features star DeAndre Hopkins along with wideouts Treylon Burks and Kyle Philips. The Titans have been big players this free-agent cycle at the skill positions, also bringing aboard former Cowboys running back Tony Pollard. All of these moves should help first-year head coach Brian Callahan put quarterback Will Levis in a strong spot to succeed as he steps into Year 2. 

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