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Ravens Should Secure Matt Judon to a Long-Term Deal Now, Rather Than Later

January 28, 2019 - 11:42 pm
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By Joe Schiller 

As they head into free agency, the Baltimore Ravens have tough decisions to make on their 10 unrestricted free agents.

I’ve touched on a few of the top names in the group, including C.J. Mosley and Za’Darius Smith. That still doesn’t include Terrell Suggs, John Brown, among other complimentary pieces like Robert Griffin III, Brent Urban, Maxx Williams and Nick Boyle.

With the likely departure of Joe Flacco - via release or a trade – and looming cap casualties, the Ravens are expected to have cap flexibility. This rare opportunity could allow Eric DeCosta to look ahead to next offseason.

Matt Judon will be an unrestricted free agent by that time and a chance to secure him to a long-term deal now, rather than later, would be ideal.

The Ravens have reaped the benefits of Judon’s production at an inexpensive price tag. Judon is set to make just $783,934 in 2019, but it’s an annual salary that’s only going to skyrocket once he eventually hits the open market.

Judon has quickly developed into a key defensive pieces in Baltimore. With a 6-3, 261-pound frame, the 27-year-old has totaled 15 sacks (8 in 2017, 7 in 2018) over the past two seasons and shown a skill-set not solely limited to rushing the passer. 

As a former fifth-round pick, there’s no luxury of a fifth-year option for Judon. He is currently entering the final year of his rookie contract with the Ravens and free agent decisions of other pass rushers have an impact on his future in Baltimore.

 Smith may have all but priced himself out of a future with the Ravens. There’s a very realistic chance lands a long-term deal on another team. Terrell Suggs has said he plans on playing for a 17th season but whether that will be in Baltimore or elsewhere has yet to be determined.

Come 2020, the Ravens could be without Smith and Suggs, with Judon set to hit become a free agent.

History tells us that pass rushers in Baltimore have gone onto “greener” pastures in free agency but the Ravens have shown loyalty to keeping around important pivotal defensive building blocks.

DeCosta and front office will ultimately have to determine if Judon falls under that category.

I believe he does.

 

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