Chiefs Labeled ‘Potential Trade Destination’ for Former $54 Million Pass Rusher

Chiefs labeled potential trade destination for Patriots pass rusher Matthew Judon in 2024.

Getty The Kansas City Chiefs were listed as a potential trade destination for New England Patriots pass rusher Matthew Judon in 2024.

The Kansas City Chiefs will likely have their eye on the development of 2023 first rounder Felix Anudike-Uzomah this summer. If he’s ready to take on a larger role, the opportunity is there with Charles Omenihu recovering from surgery.

If not, it’s possible that the Chiefs could still look to add another veteran at the edge rusher position alongside George Karlaftis and Mike Danna. And one potential candidate to monitor via trade could be New England Patriots star pass rusher Matthew Judon.

Bleacher Report analyst Matt Holder listed Judon as a veteran that teams “should pursue” on May 18, and he argued that the Chiefs are a “potential trade destination” for him.

“Matthew Judon turns 32 years old before the regular season starts and only has one year left on his contract,” Holder noted. “Given that, his fit with the rebuilding New England Patriots is questionable and it makes sense for the team to give more reps to Josh Uche and Anfernee Jennings. Also, Judon would probably rather play for a playoff contender at this stage.”

Judon signed a $54.5 million deal in 2021, earning $32.5 million of that contract before a renegotiation. He made another $14 million-plus in 2023 and currently has a cap hit over $14.675 million in 2024.

“Kansas City isn’t quite as flush with cash ($16.1 million) but they could still afford Judon and they have a spot for him on the edge, especially if Charles Omenihu isn’t ready to begin the regular season,” Holder reasoned while justifying the trade fit. “Also, Chris Jones and the Patriot would be a fearsome duo for the back-to-back champs.”

Matthew Judon Would Bring Pro Bowl Resume to Chiefs

KC fans might remember Judon from his time with the Baltimore Ravens, but he really broke out in New England over the past three seasons.

Before tearing his bicep in 2023, Judon registered a whopping 32 sacks in just 38 appearances with the Patriots. He also logged 33 tackles for a loss and 62 quarterback hits over that span according to Pro Football Reference.

For his efforts, Judon was voted to the Pro Bowl his first two campaigns in New England. Which made four straight Pro Bowl honors from 2019 through 2022. The injury ended that run in 2023.

Having said that, Judon has been one of the more productive pass rushers in recent years.

According to Pro Football Focus, Judon ranked top 10 in quarterback pressures in 2021 and 2022. He was credited with 63 pressures in 2021 and another 69 the following season.

Judon also played a significant number of snaps in those two years, with 510 defensive snaps in 2021 and 553 in 2022. So, the Chiefs would be adding a true starter at defensive end if they pursued this sort of trade.

Then, later in the year, Omenihu could help lessen the load upon his return.

Is a Matthew Judon Trade Within the Chiefs’ Budget?

Let’s say the Patriots decide to trade Judon as Holder suggested, the Chiefs’ interest would be dependent on a couple of factors.

The first would be budget. Kansas City could fit Judon as the Bleacher Report writer explained, but it would be a tight squeeze.

Having said that, the Chiefs could free up more space if younger players emerge during training camp. Cutting veteran wide receiver Justin Watson would save $2.77 million any time after June 1, for example. And some have suggested tight end Noah Gray as a trade candidate that could free up $3.116 million.

Remaining contract restructures are another option, and then there are the lesser-known roster cuts that add up. In that vein, Kansas City just released veteran running back La’Mical Perine on May 17 — a move the offered minor savings.

The second factor is need. As stated above, Anudike-Uzomah’s development will be integral in this discussion. So will Omenihu’s health, BJ Thompson’s progress and the Chiefs’ overall confidence in younger pieces like Malik Herring and Truman Jones.

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