The Facts: Ridley spent most of the 2021 season away from the Falcons. The talented receiver said in an Oct. 31 statement that he was stepping away indefinitely to work on his mental wellbeing, and that effort kept him apart from the team for the remainder of the campaign. GM Terry Fontenot was asked about Ridley at an end-of-the-season press conference, and said that the Falcons continue to support him. Owner Arthur Blank echoed that sentiment Wednesday and said he hopes Ridley will remain a Falcon. "We love the young man," Blank said. "He has had a great history in Atlanta. We'd love him to stay in Atlanta."
Diehards Line:Blank continued: "Whether or not he wants to do that -- he may decide that he wants a fresh start someplace else. We don't know that. I don't know that. I don't have information to indicate that, but we'll see how that plays out. We've been totally supportive in every way that we can be, both emotionally and financially in working with him as well as his agent. We'll see, but I'm mostly concerned about him as a human being." Ridley is currently under contract through the 2022 season after the Falcons exercised his fifth-year option last spring. Ridley has shined on the field since the Falcons selected him No. 26 overall in the 2018 NFL Draft. His best season came in 2020, when he had 90 catches for 1,374 yards and nine touchdowns. He played just five games for the Falcons in 2021. He missed the Week 5 contest against the New York Jets for a non-injury-related matter, returned to play the Dolphins in Miami and stepped away the following week.