Matthew Judon is entering his sixth season in the NFL in 2021 after completing his rookie contract and most recently playing the 2020 season under the franchise tag with the Baltimore Ravens. It is currently not anticipated that they will tag him again, so for now, he is slated to become an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his career.
He probably didn’t do himself any favors recently when he threatened to essential blackmail ESPN Ravens beat writer Jamison Hensley—if it were not for the fact that he did it publicly. Judon objected to something that Hensley reported about him, and then responded to him on social media demanding a retraction or that he would ‘leak’ photos of Hensley in a strip club.
But it doesn’t really work if you publicly post the information that you’re planning to expose, beyond the mere ‘shock’ of the photographic evidence, so I digress. But either way, Judon eventually deleted that post, and ESPN responded by issuing a statement taking him to task.
Evidently, Judon was not happy with the fact that Hensley reported he had turned down a long-term extension offer from the Ravens that would have averaged $16.5 million per season, though it wasn’t stated when that deal was offered—in the Summer, or since the 2020 season ended.
“We stand by Jamison Hensley’s reporting, and Hensley added Matt Judon’s perspective within the story”, a representative for ESPN told Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. “Regardless, the since-deleted personal attacks toward him were completely uncalled for”.
Judon played under a franchise tag value of about $16.8 million last season, which was a compromise between him and the organization, a middle-ground number between the tag value of a defensive end and an outside linebacker.
The five-year veteran has made the Pro Bowl in each of the past two seasons, doing so as an alternate in 2019. He posted 9.5 sacks that year with 33 quarterback hits and four forced fumbles. This past season, he only had six sacks with 21 quarterback hits and zero forced fumbles, which don’t exactly sound like Pro Bowl numbers.
In addition to Judon, the Ravens’ other primary pass rusher Yannick Ngakoue, is also slated to be an unrestricted free agent. They acquired the latter via trade in the middle of the 2020 season, and they certainly spoke of him as though he were in their plans beyond the year.