New England Patriots

New England Patriots

New England Patriots

New England Patriots linebacker Matthew Judon waves to fans as he runs off the practice field during 2023 training camp in Foxboro: (Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports)

Matthew Judon has a bit of a contract thing going on.

The veteran Patriots outside linebacker is entering his third season in New England, having compiled 28 sacks and 53 QB hits over his first two. Judon finished ninth in Defensive Player of the Year voting in 2022, and barely lost out on All-Pro recognition at a crowded position.

Judon is on the books for $12.5 million in salary and bonuses for 2023, according to OverTheCap. That figure has him tied for 22nd among “edge rushers.” Safe to say he’s a little underpaid now, compared to his peers.

Jul 27, 2023; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots linebacker Matthew Judon (9) sprints during training camp at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

New England Patriots linebacker Matthew Judon sprints during 2023 training camp in Foxboro. (Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports)

Naturally, questions have arose about that very contract situation, especially as Judon was a limited participant in the first two practices of 2023 training camp for the Patriots. He’s on the books for two more years with average cash values of $11.25 million, which would be a bargain for him at the moment, and most, if not all of his guaranteed money has been paid.

To that end, NBC Sports Boston’s Phil Perry reported Friday morning: “It’s my understanding that, while Judon and the team maintain an amicable relationship, he’d like his contract adjusted.”

Nov 20, 2022; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots linebacker Matthew Judon (9) reacts after a sack against the New York Jets during the second half at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

New England Patriots linebacker Matthew Judon (Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports)

Judon looked more like a full participant at Friday’s training camp practice in Foxboro, including his first snaps in competitive 11-on-11 drills with the starting defense. That allowed him to finally meet with reporters, which has become something of an event in New England in recent years.

So, it’s no surprise that, when asked about the contract situation and what’s going on with his participation level in practice, Judon spoke about it with his typical swaggy sarcasm that’s become a fixture here. Judon first explained that he was legitimately ramping up physically, and his limited participation wasn’t contract-related.

  • CLEVELAND, OHIO - OCTOBER 16: Matthew Judon #9 of the New England Patriots celebrates after his team's 38-15 win against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium on October 16, 2022 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

    Matthew Judon of the New England Patriots celebrates after a 38-15 win over the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium on Oct. 16, 2022. (Jason Miller/Getty Images)

    “We were just working, me and the training staff and the coaches were just working to, when I do practice, I’m at a good pace, I can move fast the whole practice,” Judon said. “So, it’s nothing like that [about the contract]. But it’s more working on my condition, working on running, and making sure I am where I need to be.”

    The entertainment level ticked up when Judon was asked, point-blank, if he’s happy with his contract.

  • Nov 20, 2022; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots linebacker Matthew Judon (9) reacts after cornerback Marcus Jones (not seen) scored a touchdown against the New York Jets during the second half at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

    New England Patriots linebacker Matthew Judon reacts after cornerback Marcus Jones (not pictured) scored a touchdown against the New York Jets during a game at Gillette Stadium. (Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports)

    “I’m happy to be here, man,” Judon said. “I’m definitely not going to talk about contracts with y’all [the media]. Y’all some snitches. But I’m happy. I’m happy that I’m here. I’m happy that I’m a Patriot. And then, wherever that goes, it goes.

    “The market changes every day. We’ve seen it, the first day of training camp, a whole bunch of people got paid. The market changes every day. But I will not talk about contracts with y’all.”

  • FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - NOVEMBER 06: Matthew Judon #9 of the New England Patriots reacts in the first quarter of a game against the Indianapolis Colts at Gillette Stadium on November 06, 2022 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Getty Images)

    Matthew Judon of the New England Patriots reacts during a game against the Indianapolis Colts at Gillette Stadium on Nov. 6, 2022. (Billie Weiss/Getty Images)

    In case you missed it, Judon had a little dust-up with a reporter over his contract back in Feb. 2021, between his time with the Ravens and Patriots. ESPN’s Jamison Hensley reported that the Ravens offered him a specific contract, which Judon denied.

    Judon later posted on his Instagram story that he wanted an apology from Hensley or he would leak photos of the reporter in a strip club.

    Head on a swivel, Phil Perry!

  • FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - NOVEMBER 06: Matthew Judon #9 of the New England Patriots looks on prior to a game against the Indianapolis Colts at Gillette Stadium on November 06, 2022 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Getty Images)

    Matthew Judon of the New England Patriots looks on prior to a game against the Indianapolis Colts at Gillette Stadium on Nov. 6, 2022. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Getty Images)

    Judon did make one comment that might be cause for concern for anyone who hopes he does, indeed, sign with the Patriots beyond just the next two years. He spoke openly about the realities of the NFL business and that he had high hopes with the Ravens, too.

    He wants to stay a Patriot, but he knows from experience that the Patriots may ultimately not share a mutual interest in that.

    “Everything has made it to where I feel like I want to stay here for the rest of my career,” Judon said. “But if that’s not in the cards, that’s not in the cards. I felt like that when I was a rookie. I felt like that my fifth year, but that wasn’t in the cards for me. And I don’t get to choose that. I just get to tell you how I feel.”

  • FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - OCTOBER 09: Matthew Judon #9 of the New England Patriots sacks Jared Goff #16 of the Detroit Lions during the first half at Gillette Stadium on October 09, 2022 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Nick Grace/Getty Images)

    FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS – OCTOBER 09: Matthew Judon #9 of the New England Patriots sacks Jared Goff #16 of the Detroit Lions during the first half at Gillette Stadium on October 09, 2022 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Nick Grace/Getty Images)

    It would be surprising if the Patriots didn’t want to keep Judon around, though. He’s been arguably the only truly high-end, impact player to wear the uniform since the departure of Tom Brady.

    That doesn’t mean Bill Belichick is in the charity business. And he and the Patriots are notoriously tough at the negotiating table. So, it would also be surprising if Belichick suddenly extended Judon at the top of the outside linebacker market well into his 30s.

    Ideally, the two sides can come together, and sooner rather than later. Even if it’s just a raise for 2023-24, an advance, more fully guaranteed money, something of that nature. The important part is whether he stays or not, period, but it’s a good sign that Judon remains happy here and seems willing to compromise.

  • Sports Hub Underground // Patriots and Patrice

    (Click here to subscribe to Patriots Audio on 98.5 The Sports Hub.)


    Just don’t expect him to talk to US about it.

    Click here for complete New England Patriots coverage at 985TheSportsHub.com.

  • Matt Dolloff is a writer and podcaster for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Yell at him on Twitter @mattdolloff and follow him on Instagram @realmattdolloff. Check out all of Matt’s content here.

Sign me up for the 98.5 The Sports Hub email newsletter!

Get the latest Boston sports news and analysis, plus exclusive on-demand content and special giveaways from Boston's Home for Sports, 98.5 The Sports Hub.

*
*
By clicking "Subscribe" I agree to the website's terms of Service and Privacy Policy. I understand I can unsubscribe at any time.