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2021 NFL free agency: Patriots sign linebacker Matthew Judon to four-year, $56 million contract

Related: Patriots free agency tracker: News, rumors, signings, instant analysis

Baltimore Ravens v Cincinnati Bengals Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

The New England Patriots entered the start of the legal tampering period as one of the NFL’s leaders in salary cap space, and they are willing to use their resources to bolster their team. After already signing tight end Jonnu Smith and defensive tackle Davon Godchaux — thus addressing two of the major needs on the roster — the Patriots will also add former Baltimore Ravens linebacker Matthew Judon, as first reported by NFL Network’s Ian Rapport.

According to Tom Pelissero, the deal is a four-year pact worth $56 million. $32 million of the deal will come over the first two years of the contract.

Judon is a well-established player who should be capable of helping New England’s defensive front seven in numerous ways. Whether it is setting a stout edge in the running game, rushing the passer from various alignments or blitz looks, or moving between the outside or off-the-ball positions, Judon has plenty of experience and versatility. The Patriots going after him should therefore not be considered a surprise.

The 28-year-old originally entered the league as a fifth-round draft pick by the Ravens in 2016, and over the next five seasons went on to appear in 76 regular season games and four playoff contests. Along the way, he notched 35.5 sacks and forced seven fumbles.

Poll

How would you grade the Patriots’ decision to sign Matthew Judon?

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  • 66%
    A
    (2107 votes)
  • 27%
    B
    (862 votes)
  • 4%
    C
    (129 votes)
  • 0%
    D
    (27 votes)
  • 1%
    F
    (38 votes)
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