Lun. Abr 15th, 2024

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Wide receiver Calvin Ridley is signing a four-year, $92 million contract, including $50 million guaranteed, with the Tennessee Titans, agents David Mulugheta and Reza Hesam told ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Wednesday.

Ridley joins DeAndre Hopkins and Treylon Burks as the top pass-catchers for second-year quarterback Will Levis.

Tennessee also agreed to one-year deal with former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph, a source confirmed to ESPN. Rudolph’s deal is worth up to $3.62 million according to NFL Network, which first reported the news. Rudolph will compete with third-year quarterback Malik Willis for the backup role behind Levis. The Titans have a 1-2 record in Willis’ three career starts.

After returning from a season-long 2022 suspension for violating the NFL’s gambling policy, Ridley caught 76 passes for 1,016 yards and eight touchdowns for the Jaguars in 2023. The season opener against the Indianapolis Colts marked 23 months between games for Ridley.

He said in January that he wanted to return to the Jaguars in 2024 because of the relationships he built and the prospect of not having to learn another offensive system, but he wasn’t sure whether that would happen, adding that money would be a factor.

Ridley, 29, was suspended for the 2022 season after an investigation found that he bet on NFL games over a five-day stretch in November 2021 while he was away from the Atlanta Falcons. In a series of tweets after the suspension, Ridley admitted to bets totaling $1,500 but said he doesn’t have a gambling problem.

Despite the ban, the Jaguars acquired Ridley in a trade with the Falcons on Nov. 1, 2022 — sending a 2023 fifth-round pick and a conditional pick in 2024. Ridley was paid a guaranteed $11.116 million in 2023 on the fifth-year option from the rookie deal he signed after being drafted 26th overall by the Falcons in 2018.

Because the Jaguars did not sign Ridley to a new contract after the new league year began, they will send a third-round pick to the Falcons to complete the terms of the 2022 trade that brought Ridley to Jacksonville. Had they signed Ridley before the 2023 league year ended, they would have owed the Falcons a second-round pick.

Ridley was reinstated on March 6, 2023. Two days later, Ridley wrote in a piece for The Players’ Tribune that gambling on NFL games was the «worst mistake» of his life.

He also said he played through a foot injury in 2020, got misdiagnosed with a bone bruise, and eventually had surgery a couple of months before training camp began in 2021. Ridley said he was mentally drained from dealing with the injury and also was dealing with anxiety related to a break-in at his home, which is why he eventually stepped away from the game on Oct. 31, 2021, saying he needed to focus on his mental health.

Ridley had 248 catches for 3,342 yards and 28 touchdowns in 49 games with the Falcons, including 90 catches for 1,374 yards and nine touchdowns in 2020.

Rudolph, who was picked by the Steelers in the third round of the 2018 draft, spent most of his career in Pittsburgh as a backup before helping the Steelers to the playoffs with three starts to end the 2023 regular season.

In those games, the Steelers’ offense averaged 27 points per game and 387 yards of offense, and Rudolph threw three touchdowns and no interceptions.

Before 2023, Rudolph’s first extended time as a starting quarterback came in 2019, when he took over the job following Ben Roethlisberger’s season-ending elbow injury. Rudolph appeared in 10 games that season, starting eight, and threw 13 touchdowns to nine interceptions. The season was a tumultuous one for Rudolph, who suffered a concussion in his first start, was nearly struck by Myles Garrett swinging Rudolph’s helmet, was benched for rookie UDFA Devlin «Duck» Hodges and eventually ended the season on injured reserve.

But when he took over the starting job for Kenny Pickett in 2023, teammates and coaches praised Rudolph’s maturity and commitment to putting in the work.

«I think when you’re going through it — everything from being thrown in and then getting knocked unconscious for a bit and then some adversity later in the year in Cleveland and then being benched — I think it’s no fun,» Rudolph said in December. «It’s hell while you’re going through it, but when you take a step back and breathe, and I’m 28 years of age, I’m just ultra-thankful that it happened. I think everything happens for a reason, but who wants to go through a life and have no adversity and just kind of always win? It teaches you lessons and it prepares you for life after football.»

For his career, Rudolph has thrown for 3,085 yards with 19 touchdowns and 11 interceptions in 21 games.

ESPN’s Michael DiRocco and Brooke Pryor contributed to this report.

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