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$54 Million Pass Rusher Gives Update On New Contract, Possible Trade

New England Patriots edge defender Matthew Judon skipped voluntary workouts with the team and is a popular trade candidate.
Matthew Judon Trade

New England Patriots edge defender Matthew Judon is looking for a new contract and could seek a trade. The former fifth-round pick turned perennial Pro Bowler is entering the final season of a four-year deal he signed back in 2021 and is looking for more financial security. The pass rusher skipped voluntary workouts and requested no contract questions during his youth football camp, which heavily suggests he’s looking for a new deal.

While the edge defender skipped the voluntary portion of the team’s offseason, Judon himself said that his holdout won’t continue into the mandatory portion of the offseason. During a recent interview with Karen Guregian of MassLive, the pass rusher said that he “ain’t giving no money away” and will be on the field for mandatory minicamps. What has yet to be determined is if Matthew Judon will be practicing with the Patriots or if a trade will send him to a new organization.

Matthew Judon Gives Update On Contract, Trade Status

Speaking purely from a financial standpoint, the Patriots have the money to pay Matthew Judon without resorting to a trade. As of this posting, the team has $52.2 million in cap space, the most in the league by a comfortable margin. If the team wanted to, they could easily give Judon a raise and one or two additional years without any long-term financial repercussions.

The only question is whether or not they’d want to do that. After attempting to tread water with Bill Belichick in the post-Brady year, New England has finally embraced a new era of football. This team is still years away from competing, and the age-32 Judon might be past his prime before this team is ready to compete. With this in mind, the Patriots could trade Matthew Judon for a draft pick.

Possible Destinations

Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs have two great pass rushers in defensive tackle Chris Jones and edge defender George Karlaftis. However, they could use a third reliable option, especially since the secondary won’t be as good without L’Jarius Sneed. Perhaps the team still believes in former first-round pick Felix Anudike-Uzomah, but the second-year professional had an atrocious rookie season. Seeing as the Chiefs are going for their third Super Bowl in as many seasons, Kansas City could trade for a proven option in Matthew Judeon.

Atlanta Falcons

The Atlanta Falcons added several defensive linemen during the 2024 NFL Draft, but this front seven needs more experience. The presence of Kirk Cousins ensures this team will compete in 2024, but the Falcons need a better pass rush if they want to go deep in the playoffs. Matthew Judon can still get after the quarterback with the best of them, and the trade candidate could be the missing piece to help the Falcons win a relatively weak NFC South.

Detroit Lions

The Detroit Lions came inches away from making the Super Bowl last year, and should have strong odds of lifting the Lombardi in 2024. With most of the key players on offense coming back and several major investments in the secondary, the last glaring need on this roster is at edge defender. Aidan Hutchinson is a star and Marcus Davenport can get the job done, but this team should still consider a Matthew Judon trade. Combining him with Hutchinson and relegating Davenport to a depth role could create one of the best trios in the league.

Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens lost several key players in free agency, including former first-overall pick Jadeveon Clowney. With the edge defender now in Carolina, Baltimore is using a combination of aging veterans and untested youngsters to replace his production. While this strategy might work out, the Ravens should trade for Matthew Judon and get some stability at arguably the most important defensive position. Judon entered the league with the Ravens, so former head coach John Harbaugh should know how to get the most out of the former fifth-round pick.

Carolina Panthers

The Panthers won’t win the Super Bowl in 2024, but head coach Dave Canales wants to add veteran talent. Carolina already has Jadeveon Clowney and D.J. Wonnum serving as band-aid replacements for Brian Burns, but the Panthers could still entertain a Matthew Judon trade. Assuming he’s back to full health, Judon would be the best option on this defense and a much-needed add for a team that will need to win games with defense.

Main Photo: Kevin Jairaj – USA Today Sports


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