Nearly half the league’s teams used their respective franchise tags this year, and one of the tagged pass rushers signed his tender Thursday.
Matt Judon signed his Ravens tender, per Tom Pelissero of NFL.com (on Twitter). Judon was tagged as a linebacker and therefore would have been attached to a $15.8MM salary, though he could have filed a grievance to be tagged as a defensive end in order to bump that number up to $17.8MM. Pelissero subsequently reported that the two sides met in the middle to avoid further dispute, and that Judon stands to earn $16.8MM in 2020 if no long-term deal is reached (Twitter link).
The Ravens have begun extension discussions with Judon but have also initiated talks with Ronnie Stanley. Judon could come first due to the July 15 deadline for franchise-tagged players to sign extensions. The former Division II standout has become Baltimore’s top edge defender, having functioned in a key role for the Ravens throughout his career. Judon registered 33 quarterback hits last season — the most by a Raven over the past 14 years — and has 24.5 sacks in the past three years.
Tag-and-trade rumors surfaced in this situation earlier this offseason. By signing the tag, Judon can now be traded. Although the Ravens have let a few key edge rushers go after big contract-year performances in recent years, they did not draft an outside linebacker and would be incredibly thin at the position if they opted to trade him.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.