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Potential surprise cuts for the Falcons | A look at what's beneficial and what's not

During the Locked On Falcons podcast, a listener's question came up about if it would be beneficial to trade Ridley now, after activating his fifth-year option.

ATLANTA — Wide receiver Calvin Ridley has been extremely productive for the Atlanta Falcons since they drafted him in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft out of Alabama.

In 2020, Ridley recorded 1,374 yards in the air across 90 catches and scored nine touchdowns.

During the Locked On Falcons podcast, a listener's question came up about if it would be beneficial to trade Ridley now, after activating his fifth-year option.

Aaron Freeman said that move wouldn't be what is best for the team. 

“Would it be beneficial? Sure, from a cap standpoint but it would not be beneficial for your football team. It is not beneficial to not have a number one wide receiver on your team,” said Freeman. 

“Is he a top-five player in the league? Probably not but is it that big of a deal? Is it such a crime to pay top-five money to a top ten wide receiver? I don’t think so," Freeman added. "Bateman and Smith may go on to be really good NFL wide receivers but why give up a guy that you know can be a number one wide receiver that has like five more years left on his prime for some unproven guys.”

Last month, the Falcons started their salary cap purge after the NFL announced that the salary cap minimum would be set at $180 million for NFL teams this season. The Associated Press reported the Falcons released two veterans, safety Ricardo Allen and defensive end Allen Bailey. The Falcons also waived quarterback Kurt Benkert, who spent the 2020 season on the Falcons’ practice squad.

Listen to the podcast below about surprise cuts.

Locked On is a podcast network for local sports that produces daily podcasts about major professional sports leagues, as well as some college sports programs.