Ravens OLB Matthew Judon denies that he’s seeking $20M a year in new contract

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Matthew Stevens
·2 min read
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The offseason is underway for the Baltimore Ravens and that means taking a close look at their own pending free agents to see which players they want to re-sign. With Matthew Judon and Yannick Ngakoue set to hit free agency and Baltimore expected to have little cap space in 2021, the Ravens don’t have an easy decision in front of them.

However, ESPN’s Jamison Hensley reported Judon is seeking $20 million a year in a new contract — with Baltimore or elsewhere. That’s a figure that would all but automatically price Judon out of the Ravens’ interest and certainly make the team’s decision easier. But not everything is quite this easy when it comes to the offseason.

Judon quickly fired back on Instagram saying that he’s yet to even talk to the Ravens, much less has asked for $20 million a year. But in his typical joking manner, Judon pulled down his sunglasses at the end of the video and added, “20 M . . . I’m with it.”

It’s unclear exactly what Judon’s value on the open market will be, or any free agent for that matter. The loss of revenue from the COVID-19 pandemic is expected to wreak havoc on the 2021 salary cap, lowering it for the first time in over a decade. With roughly half the teams in the NFL set to have negative cap space to open the offseason, there won’t exactly be a ton of money hitting the market.

The Ravens used their franchise tag on Judon last offseason, compromising on a $16.808 million salary for the 2020 season. While Baltimore could use the franchise tag again on Judon, it’ll cost them a good bit more than last season, making it a pretty poor value. But even that would seemingly indicate Judon’s value in free agency is capped below $20 million a year. According to Over The Cap, only five EDGE players have hit that average value or higher. And no offense to Judon but he’s not in the same ballpark as guys like Joey Bosa and Myles Garrett as a pass rusher, even if he holds more value than some fans realize.

We’ll see what Judon eventually signs for over the coming months as free agency opens and teams can begin negotiating with players. But if Judon is truly seeking $20 million a year on average, he might not find any takers.