Ravens’ Matthew Judon ‘Pleased’ to Get Franchise Tag, Open to Contract Extension

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - JANUARY 11: Matt Judon #99 of the Baltimore Ravens reacts during the AFC Divisional Playoff game Tennessee Titans at M&T Bank Stadium on January 11, 2020 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Todd Olszewski/Getty Images)

Todd Olszewski/Getty Images

Baltimore Ravens linebacker Matthew Judon isn’t sweating being designated with the franchise tag. 

“I’m please to be tagged. I feel like only a few players get to go through this in their lifetime,” he told Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic. “As much as I want stability in the future, I’m proud of where I’m at and where I came. I’m a fifth-round draft pick out of Grand Valley State.”

He added that a long-term extension with Baltimore wasn’t out of the question. 

“I think we have 30 more days to work out a long-term contract,” he said. “… I’m happy to be a Raven. I want to stay here for as long as I play, but I understand that it’s a business and they kind of have a bad/good problem to have. We have a lot of young talent.”

Judon signed his franchise tag tender in late May, which is set to earn him $16.8 million next season, a “midpoint between the rate for linebackers and defensive ends and the product of a ‘rare compromise,'” per the NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero

Judon, 27, was a first-time Pro Bowler in 2019 after registering 54 tackles (14 for loss), 9.5 sacks, 33 quarterback hits and four forced fumbles. Per Anthony Treash of Pro Football Focus, Judon registered the site’s 20th-best pass-rushing grade last year. 

There’s no doubt he’s a key part of Baltimore’s defense. The question is whether Baltimore can afford to sign him to a lucrative long-term deal. 

In the near future, key players like quarterback Lamar Jackson, offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley, tight end Mark Andrews and cornerback Marlon Humphrey will all be in line for major extensions. Jackson and Stanley in particular are likely to be two of the highest-paid players at their positions. 

That could make tying down major money for Judon—even if he’s undoubtedly a very good player coming off the edge—hard to justify given the future cap implications. For at least one more season, Judon is a Raven. But beyond that remains to be seen. To Judon’s credit, he seems to understand that perspective. 

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