Falcons pick up Ridley’s $11.1 million fifth-year option

A look at the progress Falcons' first selection in the 2018 NFL Draft, wide receiver Calvin Ridley, has made in three seasons in Atlanta.

Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley, the team’s top draft pick in 2018, had his fifth-year, $11.116 million option picked up Monday by the team.

It was previously reported that team was set to make this move, but general manager Terry Fontenot would not confirm it Wednesday during the pre-draft press conference.

“Yeah, those are things we discussed, but we need to discuss that with those players and those agents and make sure we have those communications with them as opposed to doing it in this forum,” Fontenot said to the local media when asked about Ridley and Hayden Hurst’s fifth-year options.

Hurst’s option — worth $5.4 million — was not picked up. The Falcons drafted former Florida tight end Kyle Pitts with the No. 4 overall pick Thursday.

Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield, the No. 1 overall pick in 2018, recently had his $18.8 million fifth-year option picked up.

Ridley signed a four-year deal with a team option for a fifth season after being drafted 26th overall in 2018. In three seasons with the Falcons, Ridley has 217 receptions for 3,061 yards and 26 touchdowns - including 90 catches for 1,374 yards and nine touchdowns in 2020.

Ridley has been working with Atlanta Public Schools as he recently visited both Michael R. Hollis Innovation Academy and Lenora P. Miles Elementary school, where workers from Mercedes-Benz USA distributed ice cream to students to celebrate persevering after a challenging pandemic year.

Last season, the Falcons declined to pick up the $10.3 million fifth-year option for defensive end Takk McKinley. He was released in the middle of the season after requesting a trade on social media.

AJC’S POSITION-BY-POSITION NFL DRAFT SERIES

QUARTERBACKS: How far will Justin Fields drop in draft? | Top 10 QBs

RUNNING BACKS: Plenty of prospects to pick from | Top 10 RBs

WIDE RECEIVERS: Draft deep with talent | Top 10 WRs

TIGHT ENDS: Ability to create mismatches is key | Top 10 TEs

OFFENSIVE TACKLES: A ‘nasty’ bunch | Top 10 OTs

OFFENSIVE GUARDS/CENTERS: The men in the middle | Top 10 C/OGs

END RUSHERS: Pass on this draft stock | Top 10 DEs

DEFENSIVE TACKLES: One star among lackluster block | Top 10 DTs

LINEBACKERS: Deep class for position | Top 10 LBs

CORNERBACKS: Plethora of options for first two rounds | Top 10 CBs

SAFETIES: Falcons likely will add position player | Top 10 Safeties

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