The Jacksonville Jaguars had a hard time stopping opposing offenses from scoring and if they want to change that, they will need to give their defense a makeover this offseason. Even though free agency won’t start in a month, they should keep an eye on Baltimore Ravens linebacker Matthew Judon, who is scheduled to hit the open market.
A fifth-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, Judon recently talked to Adam Schein of CBS Sports and said that even though he would like to stay in Baltimore, things have to line up. The Grand Valley State product believes added that he would love to be back, but even if he leaves, he will still love the city.
The Ravens applied the franchise tag on Judon in 2020 after failing to reach a long-term deal. Using the tag once again may turn out to be costly for the team, so the linebacker will hit the open market if both parties can’t agree to a new deal.
Jamison Hensley of ESPN reported that Judon was seeking $20 million a year in a new contract, but he took to social media to deny the report. In five seasons with the Ravens, he’s logged 236 total tackles (54 for a loss), 34.5 sacks, seven forced fumbles, and ten pass deflections.
Even if Judon asks for a contract that paid him $20 million a year, there will likely be demand for his services. Pass rushers are a hot commodity in the NFL and the ones that make it to the open market are highly coveted.
Why would the Jacksonville Jaguars sign Matthew Judon?
It’s unclear what Judon meant when he said things have to line up to re-sign with the Ravens. Maybe he wants to touch base and get a contract that is fair for him and the team, but if he’s trying to maximize his earnings, he should definitely hit the open market.
This Jacksonville team moved on from Todd Wash and hired Joe Cullen as its defensive coordinator this offseason. Cullen previously served as the Ravens defensive line coach. Although he didn’t directly coach Judon, he is familiarized with his work and could provide a scouting report to the Jaguars’ brass.
The ‘Jags’ are projected to have $77.51 million in cap room, per Over the Cap, and will be able to make a couple of big-splash signings in free agency. They need a third linebacker and Judon could round out their unit if they aren’t interested in using an early pick in the 2021 NFL Draft on a prospect such as Jeremiah’s Owusu-Koramoah.
There are different routes the Jaguars can take in free agency and although it’s too early to know whom they want to target, the presence of Cullen in their coaching staff could lure Judon to Jacksonville.