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