Calvin Ridley Brings Explosiveness to Titans, But is Not Without Concerns

Titans fans have been hurting watching the Texans take two prominent defenders, Denico Autry and Azeez Al-Shaair, from Nashville in free agency.

Tennessee has made a similar move, stinging a division rival by lifting a key piece -- and Calvin Ridley was more important to the Jaguars than Autry or AA-S were to the Titans.

Calvin Ridley
Calvin Ridley beats Kristian Fulton/ Angie Flatt

The Titans hope he will be a key piece of Brian Callahan's offense.

He ran a 4.43 coming out of Alabama and his 21.52 mph in 2023 per NextGen Stats, 15th best in the NFL. Ridley can be terrifically explosive. 

In a podcast during the season looking ahead, I tabbed Riley as my preferred receiver target in free agency when there was so much talk about Tee Higgins. 

I've since spoken with multiple people in the league who say the risk with him is what he could become given a giant contract.

Per spotrac, he's earned a bit over $22 million through five seasons, four with Atlanta and one with Jacksonville. He was suspended for the 2022 season for gambling on football.

The new deal is a reported four-year package with $50 million guaranteed worth up to 4 years, $92 million.

Calvin RidleyPresuming that doesn't get in his way, he can give the Titans a new, much-needed, big-play element. 

He averaged just 13.4 yards per reception and 13.8 targeted air yards, 0.4 fewer than DeAndre Hopkins.

But the Titans surely expect to unlock the best of him in combination with big-armed Will Levis. I hope he’s a big part of the solution to a ridiculously long-term problem  

Here is Blake Beddingfield after a Titans' loss to the Jaguars on Nov. 19. 2023 with details about how Ridley shredded the Titans for seven catches, 103 yards and two touchdowns.

DeAndre Hopkins and Calvin Ridley

Paired with Hopkins the Titans have two legitimate receivers for the first time since AJ Brown and Corey Davis in 2020.

His presence could make it easier for the Titans to address left tackle at No. 7 in the draft.

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