Arizona Cardinals would welcome Matt Judon with open arms
By Jim Koch
One of the biggest question marks for the Arizona Cardinals this offseason will be at the outside linebacker position. Haason Reddick, who is fresh off of a career year at the spot, is one of the top names on the club’s free agent list. The Cards and the 26-year old could fail to agree on a new contract, a scenario which would force the front office to find a replacement for Reddick.
Among the group of edge-rushers who could possibly be available for the Cardinals is Matt Judon, a sixth-year veteran from the Baltimore Ravens. The 6’3, 261 pounder was preparing to test the free agent waters a year ago, but the Ravens put a stop to that. In March of 2020, Judon was slapped with a franchise tag that would pay him $16.808 million for one season’s work.
Of course, nothing is stopping Baltimore from doing the same thing to Judon in 2021. That decision would, for all intents and purposes, take the two-time Pro Bowler off of the market. If that doesn’t happen, however, there will be no shortage of suitors for the talented Judon.
This past fall, Judon registered 50 tackles, six sacks and 21 quarterback hits in 14 appearances (13 starts) for the Ravens. The former fifth-round draft pick was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list twice during the campaign, causing him to miss two of Baltimore’s games. Judon was rewarded for his performance in ’20 with his second Pro Bowl nomination.
Judon’s outstanding play in 2019 earned him the first Pro Bowl invitation of his NFL career. In 16 starts, the Michigan native totaled 54 tackles, 9.5 sacks, four forced fumbles and 33 quarterback hits. In addition, Judon recorded three tackles for the Ravens during a Divisional Round playoff loss to the Tennessee Titans.
How interested the Cards will be in bringing Reddick back to the nest is not yet known. There’s a distinct possibility that the former Temple University product could be playing elsewhere when the season gets underway in September. Judon would be an excellent alternative if that possibility becomes a reality.