NFL announced on Monday afternoon that it had suspended Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley for at least the 2022 season for gambling on NFL games after he left the team last season.
So, what does that mean for the status of his contract and its impact on the Falcons salary cap?
NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reports that Ridley's contract will toll until he is reinstated by the league. This means Ridley's $11.16 million cap hit will come off the books for the Falcons in 2022 and will return when he's reinstated by the league.
Prior to this news, the Falcons were $7 million over the 2022 salary cap, per OverTheCap.com. Now, with a week until the start of a new league year, OverTheCap is reporting that the Falcons have $3.375 million in cap space with Ridley's cap hit taken off the books. The league also informed teams on Monday that the salary cap for the 2022 season has officially been set at $208.2 million.
As for the 2023 season, if Ridley is reinstated at that time, the Falcons would carry his fifth-year option into 2023 and would have the same options as they did this year prior to this news: keep him and take on the $11.1 million cap hit, or trade him.