Ravens place franchise tag on Pro Bowl linebacker Matt Judon after career year

The Baltimore Ravens are, in fact, placing the franchise tag on linebacker Matt Judon, the team announced on Friday. This was to be expected as CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora reported back in late December that Baltimore would deploy the tag in the event that a long-term deal could not be met. To this point, no long-term deal has been reached, so the tag has been designated. 

While this piece of Judon’s offseason story seemed inevitable, we’re now entering a spot where things are a bit more uncertain. Of course, the Ravens could still try to hammer away at a multi-year deal for the 27-year-old or they could look to trade him on the tag and try to get a sizable haul for the 2019 Pro Bowler. Earlier this offseason, Ravens head coach John Harbaugh did acknowledge that it would “very much” want to have Judon back on the roster in 2020 and beyond, but also admitted that it’d be “pretty hard” to do so. Now that he has the tag, there is naturally still a chance that he remains in Baltimore, but trading him seems to also be on the table.  

It should be noted that Baltimore tagged Judon as an outside linebacker, which likely won’t make him too happy. Had he been listed as a defensive end instead of a linebacker, the franchise tag would be much more lucrative, which certainly won’t help his relationship with his current club going forward.  

Judon is coming off a career year in 2019 and stepped up in a major way to help Baltimore deal with the departures of both Terrell Suggs and Za’Darius Smith. With that added opportunity, Judon notched a career-high 9.5 sacks and 33 quarterbacks hits to go along with 54 tackles and four forced fumbles. That stellar play also helped him be named to his first-ever Pro Bowl. 

As a team, the Ravens allowed the fourth-fewest yards (300.6) a game in the league in 2019. 

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