Ravens applying franchise tag on LB Matthew Judon
There had been plenty of speculation regarding the Baltimore Ravens plans for linebacker Matthew Judon. It appears they have at least managed to secure him for the 2020 NFL season.
According to Jeff Zreibec of The Athletic, the Ravens have placed their franchise tag on Judon:
Ravens are applying the franchise tag to OLB Matthew Judon as many expected they would.
— Jeff Zrebiec (@jeffzrebiec) March 13, 2020
The move to secure Judon hardly comes as a surprise. He had become the team’s best pass rusher during the 2019 NFL season after finishing with 9.5 sacks and 33 quarterback hits en route to his very first Pro Bowl. It is clear that they were not ready to let him test the market just yet.
Baltimore did manage to save themselves some cash buy designating Judon as an outside linebacker instead of a defensive end. Regardless, they will still have to pay a heavy price tag at $16.3 million in order to keep Judon around. Although they were able to find a temporary solution, they are now left with limited resources to work with in free agency after essentially cutting their $37 million salary cap in half.
The Ravens ushered in some significant turnover last offseason after parting ways with two integral pieces of their linebacker corps in Za’Darius Smith and C.J. Mosley . It was an effort to shore up as much resources as possible. As a result, it remains to be seen just how much of a priority Judon will be to their long-term plans.
Despite the tag, there have been rumors swirling that Judon could still potentially be traded this offseason. For now, it seems Baltimore has bought themselves extra time to better gauge the market,.