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Patritos Roster Breakdown: Matthew Judon Returns



New England Patriots linebacker Matthew Judon (9) reacts after sacking New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson (2) in the end zone for a safety during the fourth quarter of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2023, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

There are expected to be a lot of changes in the New England Patriots locker room before the 2024 season gets underway. The coaching staff has already seen significant turnover, most notably with Jerod Mayo replacing Bill Belichick as head coach. But what will the New England roster look like in the fall? Some of that will be determined by players not currently on the team. The NFL Draft and free agency will both bring new faces to Foxboro. But what about the players from 2023? Patriots Football Now will break down all potential 2024 roster players in “Patriots Roster Breakdown” before Week 1 arrives in September.

Today’s Patriots Roster Breakdown featured player is Matthew Judon.

Matthew Judon

The New England Patriots signed free agent Matthew Judon on March 19, 2021. The Baltimore Ravens selected Judon in the fifth round (No. 146 overall) of the 2016 NFL Draft. Judon played college football for the Grant Valley State Lakers. Matthew Judon dominated the competition at the Division 2 level. In his senior season (2015) Judon finished with 20.0 sacks, which led all NCAA players. He amassed 81 tackles, including 23.5 tackles for loss, and forced three fumbles.

Matthew Judon spent his first five seasons in Baltimore. He became a starter in 2017, his second season. In 76 games with the Ravens, Judon recorded 34.5 sacks and was selected to the Pro Bowl twice (2019, 2020).

Judon kept his Pro Bowl streak alive in New England. He made the Pro Bowl in each of his first two seasons in Foxboro. He totaled 28.5 sacks in 34 games. Matthew Judon played in 39 consecutive games to begin his tenure in New England. Judon accounted for the Patriots’ lone Pro Bowl representative over the past two seasons.

Matthew Judon suffered a season-ending injury in 2023. After only four games (and 4.0 sacks) his campaign came to an end. He suffered a biceps injury that would keep him sidelined for the rest of the season. Team captain Deatrich Wise Jr. described the loss of Judon as “devastating.”

Contract Status

Matthew Judon has only one year remaining on his contract with the Patriots. His cap hit is just under $15 million.

Linebacker Group

The New England Patriots linebacker group is in excellent shape heading into 2024. The unit features Matthew Judon, Jahlani Tavai, Ja’Whaun Bentley, Anfernee Jennings, Josh Uche, Raekwon McMillan, and Joe Giles-Harris. Only Takitaki is new to the Patriots in 2024, replacing the departed Mack Wilson Sr.

Outlook for Matthew Judon

The Patriots hope Matthew Judon returns to full strength upon his return. Last season’s squad ranked near the bottom of the NFL. They finished with 34 sacks. The 2022 team with a healthy Judon amassed 54. New England missed Judon. His teammates missed the attention he drew from opposing offenses. Josh Uche saw his sack total drop from 11.5 in 2022 to 3.0 last season. Having a pass rusher consistently attract double teams makes everyone on the defense better.

Matthew Judon turns 32 before Week 1 of the 2024 season. Despite entering his tenth NFL season, getting an extension done should be a priority for the New England Patriots. He is a team leader, fan favorite, and difference-maker on defense. No team replaces a player like Judon, as New the Patriots found out the hard way last season.

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