Proposed Trade Lands Raiders 4-Time Pro Bowl LB With 66.5-Career Sacks

matthew judon

Getty Matthew Judon with Maxx Crosby.

The Las Vegas Raiders are heading into the 2024 season with a very promising defensive line group. Maxx Crosby and Christian Wilkins are proven stars while Malcolm Koonce and Tyree Wilson are emerging young players with a lot of potential.

However, teams can always use more pass-rushing talent, especially when they have question marks on offense. The New England Patriots are in a total rebuild after moving on from legendary head coach Bill Belichick. Star pass rusher Matthew Judon is 31 and won’t be part of their future plans considering he’s entering a contract year.

Alex Ballentine of Bleacher Report believes Judon could be a fit in Las Vegas if they’re willing to make a trade.

“That being said, a one-year flier on Matt Judon would give them one of the deepest pass rushes in the game,” Ballentine wrote in a May 22 column. “There’s risk. He’s going into his age-32 season after playing just four games in 2023 before a bicep tear ended his year.

“But when he’s been on the field he’s been highly productive. He had 28 combined sacks in 2021 and 2022.”

The price for Judon shouldn’t be high. He’s coming off of a major injury and only played four games last season. The Raiders could likely get him for a fourth or fifth-round pick in a trade.

No Such Thing as Too Many Pass Rushers

Pass rusher isn’t a need for the Raiders. Crosby and Koonce proved to be a very good duo on the outside last season and Wilson should only get better. That said, there’s no such thing as having too many good pass rushers.

The Raiders have relied on Crosby to take on a very heavy workload over his career and adding a player like Judon would take a lot of pressure off of him. Plus, the team isn’t paying Koonce or Wilson very much money yet so taking on some portion of Judon’s $14.6 million cap hit next season shouldn’t be an issue.

The Raiders arguably have the weakest quarterback room in the AFC so they’ll need the defense to be very good in 2024 if they hope to make the playoffs. Adding Judon might give the Raiders the deepest and best group of pass rushers in the NFL.

Tyree Wilson Working Hard This Offseason

The Raiders used the No. 7 overall pick to add Wilson last year and he wasn’t able to live up to his draft status. He had just 3.5 sacks in 17 games and lost a lot of snaps to Koonce as the season went on. Wilson knew he had to be better in Year 2 and he’s dropped some weight this offseason to add some quickness to his game.

“I went back home and just worked on the eating habits, worked on the get-off and worked on me,” Wilson said during his May 21 press conference.

Last season was definitely a reality check for Wilson and he’s eager to improve this season.

“Coming in from college, you think you’ve got everything figured out, but this year I just slowed back down,” Wilson said. “I started taking the coaching and just come out here and work.”

If Wilson can take a leap, the sky’s the limit for how good the Raiders’ pass rush can be.

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