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Keeping LB Matthew Judon a Top Offseason Priority for the Ravens

When you look at the Baltimore Ravens offseason, figuring out what to do with free agents is by far the number one thing on the list for this team to be able to turn the corner for 2020.

Friday head coach John Harbaugh was stuck talking a lot more about the players that might not be in Baltimore in 2020, than those that will be.

If you look at you can see that the Ravens are still one of the top AFC teams that are expected to make a Super Bowl run next season, right up there with the Chiefs and Patriots.

The club has a whopping 23 unrestricted free agents, with linebacker Matthew Judon being the top name on the list when it comes to players that the club wants to keep around.

Judon was a hot topic on Friday, as Harbaugh was quick to point out that the club wants to do whatever they have to do in order to keep the fifth round pick of 2016 on the roster.

Harbaugh was asked flat out how much he wants Judon back in 2020, as well as how hard it is going to be to keep the 27-year-old.

“Very much and pretty hard, you know? But we’re going to try,” Harbaugh said of keeping Judon and trying to bring him back for years to come.

The Ravens coach added, “We’re going to try to get as many of these guys re-signed as we can. Matt [Judon] is probably right at the top of the list, for sure. … Our goal will be to have Matt back.”

How effective was Judon last season for the 14-2 Ravens? He quietly was the best player most weeks on defense, and by the time it was over he put up a career-high 9.5 sacks, four forced fumbles and 33 QB hits.

2019 was the first season in which Judon was a full-time starter. He was behind just Marlon Humphrey and Earl Thomas in terms of defensive snaps on the entire roster.

As a whole, Judon put up 740 snaps. His 28.5 sacks since 2016 rank 31st in the league, a solid number for a player that is looking to come into his own on a roster of young defensive stars.

This past season Judon stepped in for two departed starters, Terrell Suggs and Za’Darius Smith, and the team didn’t miss a beat.

The big question is going to be what it is going to cost the Ravens to keep him around, and is a team going to swoop in and try to make him a big offer before the Ravens can make him a competitive deal.

The Ravens have about a month to get things straight when it comes to their priority in the free agent market. Keeping Judon on the roster still seems to be the top thing on the list, and if they can find the money to pay him, it would behoove them to do what they can to ink him long term and make him a leader on defense.

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