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Doesn't sound like Judon plans to hold out amid contract uncertainty

Doesn't sound like Judon plans to hold out amid contract uncertainty originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

New England Patriots linebacker Matthew Judon is in the final year of his contract, which, naturally, creates some uncertainty over his future with the franchise.

A lot of veterans in his position might refuse to participate in mandatory minicamp practices or even hold out of training camp sessions until an extension or raise is worked out. Judon sat out mandatory minicamp last year and ended up getting a small contract tweak in August.

It doesn't sound like Judon has any interest in doing something similar in the coming months.

“Right now, I’m just going to get ready to play,” Judon said Tuesday on The Rich Shertenlieb Show. “You kind of keep throwing tantrums, tantrums, tantrums — and then you don’t come out there and do what you’re supposed to do — it kind of gets old real fast. I ain’t really trying to do that. I’m just trying to come out here and play football, get ready for this upcoming season, and put our defense and ourselves in a position to where we can win the most games, or to be the most effective.

“I ain’t worried about holding out, sitting out, or sitting in, kind of protesting. I’m just going to come out here and play ball, because last year, that stuff was trash. I ain’t really like that. I’m a football player. I don’t really want to get into the agency side. So that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to come out here and play some football.”

Judon participated in Monday's mandatory minicamp practice at Gillette Stadium.

"It's great to have Judon and his energy in the building," Patriots head coach Jerod Mayo told reporters Monday. "He was here at times during the rest of the spring, but it's good to have him over the next couple of days."

Judon missed the last 13 games of the 2023 season after suffering a biceps tendon injury against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 4. When healthy, Judon has been one of the Patriots' best players since he signed a four-year, $54.5 million contract with the team as a free agent in 2021. He tallied 12.5 sacks in 2021, 15.5 in 2022 and four in four games last season.

With Judon at minicamp, it will be interesting to see if the Patriots give Judon a raise for the 2024 season or find common ground on some sort of extension.

Given Judon's importance to the team, it would make sense to keep him in Foxboro beyond the upcoming campaign. Pass rushers are very important in today's NFL, and he gets after the opposing quarterback better than anyone on New England's roster by a fairly wide margin.