The Baltimore Ravens have an interesting decision to make with Matt Judon. Is he a must have player, or somebody the Ravens can part with if they can’t get a deal done at the right price?
Before we get into the debate, let’s lay out the facts of the situation. The Baltimore Ravens have their best outside linebacker set to hit the open market as an unrestricted free agent. The Ravens have four options when it comes to Judon. It’s not quite as simple as asking should he stay or should he go? The first option the Ravens have is just letting him become a free agent. This is what they did with C.J. Mosley, and the Ravens didn’t have a realistic chance to bring him back once other teams started bidding for his services.
The second option the Ravens have is striking up a long-term deal with Judon. This is hard to accomplish. The third option is that the Ravens can keep Judon by slapping the franchise tag on him. The fourth option is using the franchise tag and then trading Judon away. With this option, the Ravens at least get something back.
The outside linebacker position in a 3-4 defense is very highly paid. The franchise tag for an outside linebacker would give Judon the average of a top five salary for the 2020 season. Applying the franchise tag and keeping Judon would put them back in the same exact situation next offseason, an offseason where Marlon Humphrey and Ronnie Stanley are slated to become free agents.
Spotrac.com has his estimated market value at an annual average salary of over $16 million. Their suggested contract for Judon is a four year deal worth just over $65 million. Judon has 186 tackles and 28.5 sacks in his career. He just had his most productive season with 54 tackles and 9.5 sacks. While Judon has never had less than four sacks in a season, he’s also never gotten his sack totals into the double digits. These are the facts, now let’s get to the debate.