NFL Rumors: Patriots Signing Matt Judon As Spending Spree Continues

Judon was a Pro Bowler in each of the last two seasons


March 15, 2021

The New England Patriots free agent spending spree continued Monday afternoon.

After agreeing to terms with tight end Jonnu Smith and defensive tackle Davon Godchaux, the Patriots finalized a big-money deal with free agent edge rusher Matt Judon, according to multiple reports.

Judon’s contract is a four-year, $56 million pact that includes $32 million over the first two years, according to a report from NFL Media’s Tom Pelissero.

NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport reported earlier Monday the Patriots were making a “major push” to sign Judon, a Pro Bowler in each of the last two seasons.

Judon, who turns 29 in August, has been productive consistently since entering the NFL as a fifth-round draft pick in 2016. Over five seasons with the Baltimore Ravens, he piled up 34 1/2 sacks, 54 tackles for loss, 103 quarterback hits and seven forced fumbles while playing in 76 of a possible 80 games.

Pro Football Focus has credited Judon with 198 total pressures, including a career-high 62 in 2019. In 2020, he ranked 13th among edge rushers with 100-plus pass-rush snaps in PFF’s pass-rush productivity metric, tallying six sacks, 21 QB hits and 39 total pressures in 14 games.

This deal represents a shift in philosophy for the Patriots, who rarely spend big on free agent pass rushers. Judon fills a clear need, however, as New England lacked depth and experience on the edge in 2020 after losing Kyle Van Noy and Jamie Collins in free agency and Dont’a Hightower to a COVID-19 opt-out.

Judon will join a potential-laden position group that featured 2019 third-round draft pick Chase Winovich, 2020 second-rounder Josh Uche and 2020 third-rounder Anfernee Jennings. Hightower, who can play on the edge or off the ball, also is expected back this offseason.

Thumbnail photo via Evan Habeeb/USA TODAY Sports Images
NFL pass rusher Matthew Judon
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