Friday, April 19, 2024
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Titans land Calvin Ridley: GM Ran Carthon details how signing star WR went from a ‘pipe dream’ to reality

This offseason, the Tennessee Titans gained a star wide receiver in what was one of the most notable deals during the 2024 free agency frenzy. While it was widely believed that Calvin Ridley was deciding whether to stay with the Jacksonville Jaguars or head to the New England Patriots, it was actually the Titans who ended up signing the former first-round pick.

The 29-year-old signed a four-year, $92 million deal that includes $50 million guaranteed, but just how did the Titans end up to be the dark horse that won the race? General manager Ran Carthon gave some insight on how the deal got done, admitting that at first the idea was a long shot.

“To actually have the opportunity to even consider him was something that we had a part of our plan, but in our mind, really, it was more of a pipe dream. Can we afford these guys and get Ridley?” Carthon said.

He said it started with a conversation with assistant general manager Chad Brinker. Laughing, Carthon said he “won’t go into the details of how that conversation started. … It was one of those things where we agreed to talk the next day, let’s just say it that way.”

From there, he spoke to head coach Brian Callahan, then owner Amy Adams Strunk. 

“We came in the next morning and everybody kinda had that look like, ‘Let’s do it, let’s try,'” Carthon explained.

Once the Titans were serious contenders in the Ridley race, Carthon said he canceled a Georgia pro day appearance. Along with Callahan, he then spoke to the WR to convince him to make Nissan Stadium is home. 

To explain just how quickly news can spread in the NFL, Carthon shared the story of what it was like just after the deal was done. 

“We’re in the office, we’re having a moment,” Carthon said, describing the room after everything was agreed to. “And this particular moment it was myself, it was [Brinker], it was [Callahan] and [offensive coordinator] Nick Holz. So we’re high-fiving and bro hugging and doing all of that. So we’re like, ‘Hey, let’s get Calvin [Ridley] on the phone. Let’s congratulate him.'”

Carthon said this all happened in a span of 90 seconds. “We call [Ridley], we’re FaceTiming him, we’re excited and he’s excited and then my phone beeps and it’s Miss Amy [Adams Strunk].”

The owner said “Is this true?” followed by Carthon asking if what is true. Adams Strunk then asked, “Did we just get Calvin Ridley?” causing Carthon to wonder how the news was public already.

“What the hell, is it out already? We’re on the phone with him right now,” Carthon says, recalling his reaction to how fast the deal went public.

Carthon said the deal was a group effort and “shows you just the level of our teamwork and making it happen and getting it done.” He said at the end of the day, the team’s success and identity is not about one individual.

“It’s just about who gives us the best advantage to get something done that’s going to make us better, and that’s the route we go,” the GM explained.

The Titans clearly feel Ridley is someone who can make the team better, and after losing running back Derrick Henry, the offense needed a big presence to fill the void. Ridley had 324 receptions for 4,358 yards, 36 touchdowns and two 1,000+ yard seasons in his five seasons played over a six-year span. He missed the 2022 season due to a suspension for violating the league’s gambling policy.

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