Matt Judon has become a valued asset for the Baltimore Ravens' defense, but he'd soon like to secure his worth with a long-term deal.
"I think we have 30 more days to work out a long-term contract," Judon told reporters in a video conference call Monday. "I'm happy to be a Raven. I want to stay here for as long as I play, but I understand that it's a business and they kind of have a bad/good problem to have. We have a lot of young talent."
Coming off his first Pro Bowl season, the Ravens pass rusher signed his franchise tag in late May and assured Baltimore will be getting its 2019 sack leader back for the 2020 season. Teams have until July 15 to sign their franchise-tagged players to long-term deals.
Judon grew his production last year, posting career-high numbers in sacks (9.5), QB hits (33) and forced fumbles (4), while also becoming a key leader for a defense that ranked in the top five in points and yards allowed per game in 2019. Judon's value doesn't end on the field either. The 27-year-old has the ability to play both defensive end and outside linebacker, and as a fifth-round pick in 2016, Judon has been a mere blip on the Ravens' cap during his tenure.
"I'm pleased to be tagged," Judon said. "I feel like only a few players get to go through this in their lifetime. As much as I want stability in the future, I'm proud of where I'm at and where I came. I'm a fifth-round draft pick out of Grand Valley State."
Judon will make a career-high $16.808 million in 2020 under the franchise tag if no long-term deal is reached. Although he'd like to remain in Baltimore and play for a bona fide contender, let alone the team that drafted him out of a Division II school, Judon is certain to cash in on his value. Whether or not that is in Baltimore would remain the only question.