The Baltimore Ravens have some big decisions to make this offseason, and quite possibly the biggest could have to do with a decision on defensive end Matthew Judon.
Judon, who’s a home grown talent for Baltimore, has a contract deadline he’s facing with the team. The Ravens, after watching some of the deals play out with other pass rushers on the market, could jump at the chance to get some draft picks or assets for Judon this offseason.
Recently, ESPN’s Adam Schefter broke the news that the Ravens could look to move on from Judon, and Schefter explained that the defensive end could be franchise tagged, then traded. Here’s a look at what he wrote on the case:
“Ravens defensive end Matthew Judon is a candidate for Baltimore’s franchise tag and trade inquiries from other teams, league sources tell ESPN, potentially continuing the recent trend of offseason trades featuring high-profile pass rushers.
Other teams have noticed the impacts that Dee Ford and Frank Clark have had in San Francisco and Kansas City, respectively, and a contending team could try to pry Judon loose from the Ravens.
Judon is scheduled to become a free agent this offseason, and the Ravens would like to bring him back, but they also are likely to listen if another team expresses interest in trading for him, according to sources.”
Plenty of teams could be looking to fill a void at pass rusher this offseason, and players who can pressure the quarterback well are always in high demand. The Ravens decision with Judon will be telling, as he is a key young player for their defense.
Matthew Judon Career Stats
Since coming into the league in 2016 as a fifth round pick out of Grand Valley State in Michigan, Judon has turned himself into a solid player, racking up 28.5 sacks in barely a handful of years played. Judon also has 185 tackles to his credit as well as 7 forced fumbles, and has become a force up front for a Baltimore defense that needs him to pressure the pocket. Since the departure of Za’Darius Smith, Judon has only become more important for the Baltimore front.
If the Ravens move on from Judon, obviously, they will have to target some pass rush help in the draft this offseason. Baltimore’s needs lie more on the defensive side anyway, but this would be another fact which would tip the scales in that direction.
Ravens 2019 Defensive Statistics
Baltimore’s defense was a top group in the league this season. They were rated the No. 3 defense in terms of total yards allowed (300.6), the No. 6 defense in terms of passing yards per-game (207.2), and the 5th ranked rush defense in the league with 93.4 yards per-game.
A key point? Baltimore also piled up 37 sacks on the season, with Judon accounting for 9.5 in 2019. Obviously, the defense is solid as a whole and has plenty to like moving forward, but the team would have to find a suitable replacement for Judon somewhere considering his overall talent.
It’s left to be seen whether or not the Ravens will move on from Judon or not, but as of now, rumors could have this as a possibility.