Matt Judon-Ravens hopes dashed after OTA absence explained

The Ravens may miss out on a reunion with their old teammate.
Philadelphia Eagles v New England Patriots
Philadelphia Eagles v New England Patriots / Kevin Sabitus/GettyImages

Most of the NFL is kicking off their organized team activities (OTAs) in the next few days, with the Baltimore Ravens and New England Patriots both falling into that category. As is usually the case during OTAs, finding out which players will not show up is almost as entertaining as watching the action.

Skipping OTAs is often one of the first salvos fired in a contract dispute or trade request, which makes it even more shocking that former Ravens pass rusher Matt Judon was absent when the Patriots reported to camp. Could this have been a sign of a dispute?

Unfortunately, Patriots head coach Jerod Mayo quickly threw cold water on any speculation that Judon could be traded. Despite New England being a longshot for the postseason in their first season after Bill Belichick, Judon seemingly is fine with being a part of it.

Mayo confirmed that Judon is not present at voluntary OTAs, but this is reportedly not unusual. Mayo said that Judon has been "in and out" of OTAs in the past, and his absence is not a sign of any frustration between him and the Patriots. The Ravens' dreams of a reunion may be dead and buried.

Matt Judon reunoin with baltimore Ravens unlikely despite OTA news

Judon has recorded 32 sacks in 38 games with the Patriots, showing production he never reached during his time with Baltimore. Judon has said in the past he would love to retire with New England, even though Drake Maye and Jerod Mayo are beginning a very long rebuild.

The Ravens appear to be going for a committee-based approach to build their pass rush this season, as the loss of Jadeveon Clowney in free agency left them without an established star in this area. A player like Judon could make a world of difference.

The top four pass rushers in this edge rotation have some questions surrounding them. The aging Kyle Van Noy only played half of the defensive snaps last year, and Odafe Oweh still hasn't broken out. David Ojabo is hurt more than he's healthy, and Adisa Isaac is an unproven rookie.

The Ravens bringing Judon back into the fold would have been rightly celebrated as a return to form for a suspect pass rush collection, but it seems like Ravens fans may finally need to accept he isn't coming back if he locks in for 2024 with New England.