AUGUST 6: Further details on the new agreement are in, courtesy of ESPN’s Mike Reiss. A void year for 2025 is in place, which will help smooth out the cap implications of the raise. The deal is now set to expire before free agency following that season, though, which means the franchise tag will not be an option for New England.
Judon’s new pact saw some of his $9.5MM 2024 salary pushed up to this season. That certainly helps his situation for the immediate future, but Reiss notes that the two parties will likely be in the same situation next offseason that they were in recent weeks given the absence of guarantees after 2023. Another strong season from Judon would help his bargaining position and likely further the mutual interest to prolong his Patriots tenure.
AUGUST 4: The contract talks between the Patriots and Matt Judon had occurred for a bit now, and they will produce a resolution early in training camp. The Patriots agreed to provide more guarantees for their top pass rusher.
Going into Friday, Judon’s through-2024 contract contained just $2MM in remaining guarantees. That number is now at $14MM, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter (on Twitter). All of those guarantees come in 2023. No new years are included on this contract, which was originally agreed to during the Pats’ 2021 free agency splurge.
Judon has led the Patriots in sacks in each of the past two seasons, totaling 28 in that span. The ex-Raven’s $13.6MM-per-year contract is out of step with that value, and while the Patriots are not extending Judon at this point, they will reward the oft-red-sleeved edge dynamo ahead of his third season with the team. Judon, who will turn 31 this month, can earn up to $18MM in 2023. Originally, he was set to only earn $12MM with his $11MM base salary and a $1MM roster bonus. According to Ben Volin of the Boston Globe, another $500K could’ve been added through another bonus. Jeff Howe of The Athletic reports that, of the $14MM, $7MM will be guaranteed base salary and $7MM will come in the form of a signing bonus.
So, basically, instead of only having $2MM guaranteed with an $11MM salary and the potential to make $1.5MM more in bonuses, Judon’s new deal will automatically guarantee him $14MM for the year. That may not be much of a raise, but it’s an act of good faith by the Patriots to make sure one of their best defenders knows he’s being taken care of for now.
Judon had staged a bit of a “hold-in” to start camp, participating in a limited capacity over the first few days, to presumably send a passive-aggressive message to the team that he was unhappy with how any talks towards a new deal were going. He’s since returned to full participation and with this amended contract, it seems that the situation will avoid devolving into any sort of mess.
Judon has shown he has a desire to stay in New England for the foreseeable future. While this newly reworked contract isn’t an extension, perhaps it serves as a promise of things to come as the Patriots strive to keep Judon happy until negotiations can resume.
Ely Allen contributed to this post.