You can count Matthew Judon as one of the several New England Patriots players who approve of Jerod Mayo's promotion to head coach in the aftermath of Bill Belichick's departure.

Speaking to WEEI as he celebrated the opening of his restaurant in Dallas, Judon shared his excitement for the Patriots' defense this upcoming season with Mayo at the helm.

“You know, I think our defense had a lot of good moments throughout the season,” Judon told WEEI. “And I think Mayo is going to be an amazing head coach for us, help us out, and try to right the ship.”

The Patriots' defense was the lone bright spot in what was otherwise a miserable season for the team in 2023. They ranked seventh in yards allowed (301.6 per game) and were fourth in rushing defense (93.2 rushing yards allowed per game).

While Judon was sidelined for all but four games due to a torn bicep, Mayo helped the defense perform as well as it did as he was in his fifth season as their linebackers coach. Even though Bill Belichick is gone, Mayo's elevation to head coach has allowed the Patriots to keep many key pieces on defense in place. DeMarcus Covington was promoted to defensive coordinator while the team re-signed edge rushers Josh Uche and Anferenee Jennings.

Judon was excited that the team was able to retain the aforementioned edge rushers.

“It’s new. Everything’s new,” Judon said. “But I’m glad we’ve got a lot of old faces coming. Uche and Ant (Anfernee Jennings), they came out for the opening [of the restaurant], and those guys are like my brothers so I’m very happy that they’re coming back.”

Both Uche and Jennings re-signed with the Patriots this offseason on relatively modest deals following the completion of their rookie contracts. Uche only signed on a one-year, $3 million in hopes of receiving a bigger contract next offseason while Jennings got a three-year $12 million deal.

Following a breakout season in 2022, Uche struggled to get as many sacks in 2023, recording three sacks. Jennings played well in Judon's absence, recording 66 total tackles and 1.5 sacks as he helped seal the edge on run defense.

What Matthew Judon said of his contract situation with Patriots

New England Patriots linebacker Matthew Judon (9) greets fans before a game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Gillette Stadium.
Mandatory Credit: Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

With Uche and Jennings under contract for the 2024 season, Judon has a contract situation himself that needs to be resolved relatively soon. He's entering the final season of the four-year deal he signed to join the Patriots in 2021 and only has a $6.5 million base salary for the 2024 season. His small salary number for 2024 was the result of a pay bump he received during training camp last year for the 2023 season.

Judon isn't sure what will happen yet with his contract situation, but he's hoping to remain where he is.

“I think with the contract stuff, if it happens it happens…” he said. “If we can get a new contract worked out to where I try to end my career in Boston, that’d be great.”