The trade also altered the look of the Falcons Offense, however. Jones’ departure pushes Calvin Ridley fully into the No. 1 role he played while Jones was injured last season and it will also give Russell Gage a bigger chance to build on his 72 catches from last season. It’s something that Gage welcomes with open arms.
“I understand my role may have increased but I’m ready for it,” Gage said, via the team’s website. “We’re going to keep moving forward.”
Gage joined the Falcons as a sixth-round pick in 2018 and played primarily on special teams until Mohamed Sanu was traded during the 2019 season. He caught 49 passes that year and the continued progress helps fuel Gage’s belief that bigger things are ahead.
“Something that really boosts my confidence is understanding what I could become. Understanding the sky is the limit for me,” said Gage. “I know I have so much more to do, so much more I can do, and so much more to prove. I think that for me really motivates me, gives me confidence, and pushes me to keep raising the bar.”
No one will expect Gage to do the same things Jones could do in the Atlanta offense, but another step forward in his game would be a welcome development as the team charts a new course at wideout.