After months of speculation as to what the Ravens would do with impending free agent Matthew Judon, the team announced on Friday that they have given Judon the franchise tag for 2020.
We have designated OLB Matthew Judon as our 2020 franchise player. pic.twitter.com/Jf7WN7CI7d— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) March 13, 2020
This seemingly was the most likely outcome all along, although rumors had been swirling over the past few weeks that Judon could potentially be traded. At the same time, Eric DeCosta said himself at the combine that the organization and Judon’s camp were continuing to work towards a long-term deal.
Ultimately, this decision gives everyone involved the most flexibility possible. Having Judon under contract for at least another year gives DeCosta and company more time to work out a multi-year contract with Judon if both sides so choose. This also doesn’t rule out the possibility of a tag-and-trade situation unfolding in the coming weeks.
Judon was the team’s biggest in-house free agent and it was imperative that the Ravens were able to gain control of his duties in one way or another. Judon was the most productive pass-rusher on the roster in 2019 and posted career-best numbers in sacks (9.5), QB hits (33) and forced fumbles (4).
The tag will reportedly cost the Ravens roughly $16.3 million in 2020.
Ravens put franchise tag on Matthew Judon, designating him as OLB.— Jamison Hensley (@jamisonhensley) March 13, 2020
Tag for OLB is projected to be worth $16.3M, which is $3M less than a DE.
For Judon, 19.5 of his 28.5 career sacks came when lined up as OLB. He's played 84% of his snaps as OLB in career, per @ESPNStatsInfo.