Baltimore Ravens defensive end Matthew Judon could be on the move this offseason.
According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, Judon is a "candidate for Baltimore's franchise tag and trade inquiries from other teams, league sources tell ESPN, potentially continuing the recent trend of offseason trades featuring high-profile pass rushers."
Schefter added that the Ravens would like to bring Judon back but "also are likely to listen if another team expresses interest in trading for him."
Judon, 27, had an excellent 2019 season, registering 54 tackles, 9.5 sacks and four forced fumbles. In the past three seasons, he's registered a solid 24.5 sacks, and he was selected to his first Pro Bowl in 2019.
That would make losing him a blow for the team's front seven, though it might be logical if the right offer comes along:
Jamison Hensley @jamisonhensley
@AdamSchefter This makes a lot of sense because Ravens can get immediate compensation for Judon (unlike just a comp pick for Za'Darius Smith) and don't have a huge chunk of their cap tied to one player. Baltimore can use that cap space on multiple defenders who can help improve front seven.
However, Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said earlier in January that retaining Judon would be a priority for the team.
"We're going to try to get as many of these guys re-signed as we can," he said, per Schefter. "Matt is probably right at the top of the list, for sure. ... Our goal will be to have Matt back."
Were the Ravens to use the franchise tag, it would cost them an estimated $16.3 million, per Over the Cap. Based on the average salaries of the top edge-rushers, it may be a worthwhile one-year hit if the Ravens are intent on keeping Judon but can't settle on a long-term extension.
- Khalil Mack, Chicago Bears: $23.5 million
- DeMarcus Lawrence, Dallas Cowboys: $21 million
- Frank Clark, Kansas City Chiefs: $20.8 million
- Von Miller, Denver Broncos: $19 million
- Trey Flowers, Detroit Lions: $18 million
The Ravens may be willing to bite the franchise-tag bullet. If they don't, however, there will almost assuredly be interest around the NFL in Judon's services.