Patriots’ Matt Judon Won’t Hold Out At Minicamp

Last offseason, Patriots star pass rusher Matt Judon embarked on negotiations for a new contract knowing that he was one year away from a contract-year. He even staged a bit of a “hold-in” to start camp, participating in a limited capacity to presumably send a message about his dissatisfaction with the progress of the negotiations. Once again, Judon plans to be in attendance, as he refuses to sacrifice current money for future money, per Karen Guregian of MassLive.

Last year, the result of Judon’s restricted protest was a restructured deal that included several incentives. Unfortunately, he fell short of many of those incentives due to injury. Regardless, the compromise was reached with the understanding that the two sides would return to the table for negotiations this offseason.

Reaching a deal in the past few months has been difficult for both sides, though. After seeing him miss significant time, the Patriots are likely to once again focus much of Judon’s future money on incentives that he must earn by being available. Judon, on the other hand, will be seeking a deal heavy in guarantees after missing out on a good deal of money from last year’s deal.

As a result, the two are still far from a reaching a deal. While it can’t be said for certain until either party confirms, it seems that Judon’s sparse attendance in team activities recently has been a result of continued dissatisfaction with his contract situation. Judon was seemingly not in attendance for much (if any) of the team’s voluntary offseason program and missed the portion of OTAs open to the media last week. New head coach Jerod Mayo claims Judon has been “in and out” of the team facility, though it’s unclear how much of that is contract- or football-related.

Regardless of the lack of clarity on the recent situation, Judon has made one thing clear: he does not plan to give away money in pursuit of a new deal. If Judon were to miss the team’s mandatory minicamp from June 11-13, he would be subject to $101K of fines. When asked if he would be there, Judon told Guregian, “Hell yeah, I ain’t giving no money away.”

We’re still a ways off from training camp and the regular season, so there’s still plenty of time for Judon and the Patriots to come to an agreement that works for both sides. In the meantime, though, Judon seems willing to be there only so much as is completely required. The potential is there for these negotiations to foment enmity. As both sides continue to play hardball, they may run out of time and see the situation end up in free agency.

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