Matthew Judon launched a strong NFL career in Baltimore but will reportedly continue it with an AFC rival. Judon has reportedly agreed to a four-year deal with the New England Patriots on the first day of open negotiations.
During his five years in Baltimore, Judon rose from a fifth-round pick out of Grand Valley State to one of the top outside linebackers in the league. Now the 28-year-old talent is reportedly being paid like it, as NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reports the deal is worth $56 million.
The Ravens retained Judon with the franchise tag last year, but his salary would have reportedly jumped to around $20 million this year. Instead, Judon hit the open market and it didn't take long for him to find a suitor.
Judon registered 34.5 sacks and 103 quarterback hits during his time in Baltimore. He has led the Ravens in both categories since 2017.
In 2019, Judon was one of only three defenders (joining Pittsburgh's T.J. Watt and Tampa Bay's Shaquil Barrett) with at least 50 tackles, nine sacks, 30 quarterback hits and four forced fumbles. Judon's stats dropped to six sacks and 21 quarterback hits last season, but he was still a very strong all-around player.
The Ravens' outside linebackers room could have major turnover this offseason, as Yannick Ngakoue is another top free agent who hit the market. Tyus Bowser was also not retained before the free agency negotiating period opened.
Baltimore already reportedly retained veteran outside linebacker Pernell McPhee and could add more to the room in free agency or the draft, which is rich with edge rushers that fit the Ravens' mold.
The Patriots entered free agency with the second-most salary-cap space in the league, per overthecap.com, at more than $69 million. They also reportedly reached rich deals with tight end Jonnu Smith, defensive tackle Davon Godchaux and cornerback Jalen Mills.