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Deadline passes without a long-term deal for Ravens outside linebacker Matthew Judon

Deadline passes without a long-term deal for Ravens outside linebacker Matthew Judon

Wednesday’s deadline for a long-term deal came and went, and Matthew Judon ended the day just as he began it: Without a contract extension.

Judon and the Ravens had until 4 p.m. to reach an agreement, but now that option is no longer possible as he’ll play the 2020 season under the franchise tag — which is worth $16.8 million.

The case for extending Judon was a clear one. He’s the team’s best pass-rusher, has missed just two games in his four NFL seasons and registered a career-best 9.5 sacks and 33 quarterback hits a season ago. 

With Judon, who will turn 28 next month, on a one-year deal, the options to replace him elsewhere on the depth chart are sparse. The closest anyone came to nearing his sack total was Tyus Bowser, who had five sacks and 10 quarterback hits. Next was two players (Patrick Onwuasor and Pernell McPhee) who had three sacks each. 

RELATED: JUDON JOKES BEFORE DEADLINE

But the reality of the situation is much more complex for the Ravens and Judon. 

While Judon has gotten better progressively throughout his career, he’s never entered the elite category of pass-rushers in the NFL. His 9.5 sacks a year ago tied him for 19th in the league, tied with Mario Addison, now of the Bills, and Jordan Phillips, now of the Cardinals. Both players, coincidentally, changed teams after the 2019 season. 

Additionally, the Ravens’ salary cap situation is going to get a lot more complex in the coming months and years. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown the league’s financial situation into flux, as there are questions about the salary cap increasing for the 2021 season — in fact, there are rumors it might even decrease.

With that in mind, the Ravens aren’t in a strong spot, cap-wise, to spend freely. 

They’ve got left tackle Ronnie Stanley up for an extension after this season, a contract that could eclipse Laremy Tunsil’s whopping $22 million per year deal.

In 2022, cornerback Marlon Humphrey will be up for a contract extension. That same year, tight end Mark Andrews and right tackle Orlando Brown Jr. will hit the free agent market as well. All three players were Pro Bowlers in the 2019 season. 

Finally, there’s the looming storm of quarterback Lamar Jackson’s eventual contract extension. He’s due to become a free agent in 2023 after his fifth-year option. 

The Ravens, however, are eligible to begin negotiations with Jackson after the 2020 season concludes. If that’s the case, and they follow the same trajectory as the Chiefs did with Patrick Mahomes, money is going to get a lot tighter in Baltimore in the coming seasons.

Which brings the team back to Judon, and where he fits in their long-term plans.

“They’ve kind of got a ‘bad-good’ problem to have,” Judon said a month ago. “We have a lot of young talent, and unfortunately, we can’t all stay on the rookie deal our whole careers.”

If the Ravens and Judon are able to find a dollar figure that works for both sides after the season ends, it’s conceivable to think he’ll have a home for the next few seasons. As for how much money the Ravens can allot, however, remains to be seen.

But now, any deal will now have to come after the 2020 season has concluded. And at the moment, it looks like this will be Judon’s last season as a Raven.

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A very good day for NFL tight ends George Kittle and Travis Kelce

A very good day for NFL tight ends George Kittle and Travis Kelce

It’s been a good day for tight ends in the NFL.

To start the day George Kittle became the highest-paid tight end in the league. Shortly after, Travis Kelce signed an extension keeping him in Kansas City for an additional four years. Now it’s hard to talk about NFL tight ends and not mention either Kittle or Kelce’s name as two of the best in the league. It was only fitting that the two get paid on the exact same day.  

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Kittle and the San Francisco 49ers reached an agreement on a five-year, $75 million contract extension. Kittle deserves every penny of that deal as he’s racked up 2,945 receiving yards, the most by any tight end in NFL history after three seasons. He’s a do-it-all tight end who has great hands, blocks like a guard, and is a huge asset to the locker room.  

Meanwhile, the Kansas City Chiefs and Travis Kelce agreed to a four-year, $57.25 million extension. Kelce is a huge part of the Chiefs offense and his stats show that he’s one of the best in the league. He’s the only tight end to ever record four straight 1,000 yard seasons and he’s the fastest tight end ever to 425 career catches and 5,500 receiving yards.  

Kittle and Kelce have set the bar high with their play on the field, but they have now also set the bar for the price tag at their position that comes along with it. 

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Hard Knocks L.A. Episode 1 Recap: Anthony Lynn tested positive, Justin Herbert shines

Hard Knocks L.A. Episode 1 Recap: Anthony Lynn tested positive, Justin Herbert shines

Football is back on TV as the new season of HBO's Hard Knocks premiered Tuesday evening. It’s the first time in the documentary's 15 seasons that the show will follow two teams, the Los Angles Chargers and Los Angles Rams. In case you missed it, here are some highlights from episode one. 

Anthony Lynn tested positive

Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn revealed in the opening scene that he had tested positive for coronavirus earlier this year. Lynn is the third known NFL head coach to have contracted the virus, joining New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Peyton and Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson.

Justin Herbert shines

The Chargers first-round draft pick was the star player of episode one showing off his arm skills. He nailed almost every one of his targets during accuracy drills. The episode didn’t show too much of any player, but the former University of Oregon signal-caller stole the show in small amount of camera time he had

Rams head coach Sean McVay

Sean McVay’s introduction to the show had fans jealous of the panoramic views from his home in Los Angeles. McVay’s jokes were also a highlight of the episode. 

COVID-19 precautions and safety

Training camp is off-limits to fans in order to decrease potential exposure of the virus for players and staff. With that in mind, Hard Knocks is fans and media members first look at what an NFL training camp in 2020 looks like. From the frequent testing to the outdoor facilities that both the Rams and Chargers have invested in, it's a different type of training camp. It’s also a different type of Hard Knocks, but because of our desire for anything football-related, it has the potential to be one of the best seasons yet.
 
It will be tough to top the excitement of episode one but with two teams in action, there's no shortage of storylines. Episode two airs on HBO next Tuesday at 10 p.m. ET. 

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