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Ravens officially place franchise tag on Matthew Judon

NFL: Houston Texans at Baltimore Ravens Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

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.

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.