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Report: Ravens expected to franchise tag Matthew Judon

Matthew Judon, Ravens

The deadline for NFL teams to apply the franchise or transition tag is looming and the Baltimore Ravens have an idea of who they’ll use their tag on. Prior to the beginning of the new league year, Baltimore is expected to franchise tag Matthew Judon.

Nearly a month ago, John Harbaugh said that Baltimore’s goal is to have Judon back with the team in 2020. However, Harbaugh also understands that it’s going to be tough re-signing Judon to a long-term deal this offseason.

If the Ravens can’t negotiate a long-term deal, then the franchise tag is definitely a viable option. But by placing the franchise tag on Judon, it doesn’t guarantee that he’ll be back in Baltimore next season.

In the past three seasons, Judon has evolved into a formidable edge rusher for the Ravens. This season alone, Judon had the best season of his career with 9.5 sacks, 14 tackles for loss, and 33 quarterback hits. The former fifth-round pick also forced four fumbles and made his first career Pro Bowl.

Last offseason, the Ravens lost Za’Darius Smith in free agency to the Green Bay Packers. After seeing Smith thrive in Green Bay, Baltimore can’t afford to lose another premier edge defender in free agency.

Even if Judon receives the franchise tag, the Ravens could choose to trade him elsewhere. On the other hand, Baltimore could place the tag on him in an attempt to have more time to get a long-term deal done.

With that being said, the NFL extended the deadline for teams to use their franchise tag for an extra two days. Despite getting an extra two days, the Ravens seem prepared to use their franchise tag on Judon once they are able to.