NFL sack guru makes cryptic social media post alluding to possible change in scenery

It seems like with each passing day, the New England Patriots are announcing some sort of extension to one of their players. However, even with the newly installed front office handing out extensions like they are Halloween candy, Matt Judon has been on the outside looking at the various paydays. And that — along with some recent social media activity — has now invited questions regarding his future in Foxborough. 

The star pass rusher is entering the final year of the four-year, $56 million contract he signed with the club in 2021. Judon skipped on out some of the voluntary portions of New England’s offseason program but was present for mandatory minicamp. The two sides did go through a similar saga last offseason and the two sides ultimately were able to adjust his contract to siphon money from 2024 into 2023. This time around, borrowing from future years is not an option, so it would seem like an extension would be necessary for these two sides to coexist in 2024. But is that going to happen? 

On Wednesday, Judon has some interesting social media activity that could suggest that his time with the Patriots is nearing its end. An X user tagged Judon in a post imploring New England to “pay the man what he wants.” Judon then responded to the post and cast even more doubt of that wishful outcome saying, “Ion think that’s about to happen.”

Not long after that exchange, Judon posted a GIF that folks have surmised he’s suggesting he’s about to leave the Patriots. 

Given that the Patriots are not expected to be competitive in this coming year and Judon, who is coming off a season-ending biceps injury, is set to enter his age-32 season, he may not fit the timeline for this team to logically hand him an extension. So, could a trade be on the horizon if the Patriots do opt against giving him an extension? If so, here are a trio of logical landing spots for the stud pass rusher. 

There’s some familiarity here with new Seahawks coach Mike Macdonald serving as the linebackers coach of the Ravens from 2018-2020. Judon was in Baltimore for the first five years of his career and the final three were spent with Macdonald coaching his position group. In that time, Judon also was named to two Pro Bowls. While Seattle possibly could use more of an off-ball linebacker, Judon would be a worthwhile pursuit to pair with Boye Mafe and Leonard Williams along the defensive line. One roadblock here could be Seattle’s ability to hand Judon the extension he seeks, however, as the team only has $8.4 million in cap space, per Over The Cap

Similar to Seattle, money could be the key issue with this potential marriage as the Falcons have just $3.4 million in available cap space, but the need is there for them to get their books in order. Atlanta went all in this offseason boosting its offense, headlined by the signing of Kirk Cousins in free agency. While that side of the ball should be much improved than in seasons past, the Falcons could still use someone to pressure the quarterback if they want to seriously contend in the NFC. 

This would be the type of trade that sends shockwaves throughout the NFL and signals that the Lions are not messing around. Detroit led the league in pressure rate last season, but there’s an argument to be made that they could be even better with Judon opposite of Aidan Hutchinson. The Lions are coming off their most successful season in decades and are now trying to take another leap in 2024, so an all-in trade for Judon would make sense and could greatly help their newly improved secondary bounce back after a rough season in 2023. This landing spot would also put Judon in a situation where he could seriously contend for a Super Bowl. The Lions do have $34.5 million in cap space, so an extension may not be out of the question here either. 

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