Big Decision with Judon Looming

Todd Karpovich

There is more hype building around Matthew Judson as the calendar edges closer to the the 2020 league year and free agency period begins.

At this point, the Ravens might need to place the franchise tag on Judon to buy themselves more time to negotiate a new deal. That designation will cost them about $16 million.

Judon put himself in position for a big payday after leading the team with 9.5 sacks and earning a trip to the Pro Bowl. He also ranked fourth in the NFL with 33 quarterback hits.

Comparably, Za'Darius Smith, who was the Ravens' sacks leader in 2018, signed a four-year, $66 million deal the Green Bay Packers as a free agent. Judon might command a similar contract. 

Judon will want a contract for at least that amount or more, considering how many teams need an effective pass rusher, including the Ravens.

Coach John Harbaugh is lobbying for Judon to remain in Baltimore.

"We're going to try to get as many of these guys re-signed as we can. Matt [Judon] is probably right at the top of the list, for sure," coach John Harbaugh said. There are a lot of things that can go into that, as we all know – the business part of it that agents and general managers that they deal with back and forth and all that.

"So, I'll stay out of that. Probably Matt will stay out of that, too, and we'll let everybody do their jobs. But, our goal will be to have Matt back. That's what we'll try to do."

Judon was selected by the Ravens in the fifth round (146th overall) of the 2016 NFL Draft. He made almost an immediate impact. 

Now, he can sit back and let his agent do the heavy lifting for a new deal in Baltimore or elsewhere.