BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The Baltimore Ravens and outside linebacker Matthew Judon could not come to terms on a long-term agreement prior to Wednesday’s 4 p.m. deadline, meaning Judon will play the 2020 season on the franchise tag.
A 2019 Pro-Bowl selection, Judon is now locked into a one-year, $16.8 million contract for the upcoming year. He could enter free agency in 2020 unless he is franchise tagged again by the team.
A former fifth-round pick in the 2016 Draft, Judon has compiled 28.5 sacks in his career but has never reached double-digits in a season. He topped out a 9.5 in 2019 and has not finished in the Top-15 in that category in any of his first four years. That likely played into the kind of contract the Ravens were willing to give out and, the COVID-19 pandemic has put a dampening effect on long-term deals outside of the very top players (i.e. Patrick Mahomes, Chris Jones).
Still, it is somewhat surprising to see the team unable to reach a long-term agreement with Judon as they had done so with five of the last six players to receive the franchise tag. According to ESPN’s Jamison Henley, Judon is the first player since Terrell Suggs in 2008 to receive the tag from the team and not sign a long-term extension prior to the deadline.
LB Matthew Judon becomes the fourth Ravens player — and first in 12 years — to play an entire regular season under the franchise tag.
OL Wally Williams (1998)
CB Chris McAlister (2003)
LB Terrell Suggs (2008)
— Jamison Hensley (@jamisonhensley) July 15, 2020
On the bright side, if Suggs is any indication, Judon will be plenty motivated if the NFL takes the field this season. In 2008, Suggs recorded eight sacks, two interceptions, two forced fumbles, nine passes defended, 19 tackles for loss and two defensive touchdowns. Suggs then signed a six-year, $62.5 million pact with the Ravens the following year.
For now, Judon will have to wait and see what becomes of the upcoming season. Teams are currently expected to report to training camp on July 28th.