Ravens' Judon says focus is on sacks, not contract extension

Wed Oct 9 3:27pm ET
Associated Press

In this Sept. 30, 2018 file photo Baltimore Ravens linebacker Matt Judon celebrates with fans as he leaves the field after a 26-14 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers in an NFL football game in Pittsburgh. Judon is playing in the final year of his $2.59 million rookie deal, he says his focus is entirely on his performance. Next up for Judon and the Ravens is Cincinnati on Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Don Wright, file)

OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) Baltimore Ravens linebacker Matthew Judon said is not worried about his future.

He believes that would be unfair to his teammates.

Even though Judon is playing in the final year of his $2.59 million rookie deal, he said his focus is entirely on the next game in front of him.

''The better I play, the better our team plays, the more it helps me out with the contract,'' Judon said. ''I am not really thinking about that. I have a job to do everyday. How selfish would it be for me and to all these guys if I'm just out here pouting about some money?

''I am blessed to be here. So, I am just going to soak it up and take every advantage and opportunity I have to play hard and have fun with my guys.''

The onus has been on Judon to fill the void left by the departure of the franchise's all-time sack leader, Terrell Suggs, and last season's top pass rusher, Za'Darius Smith, via free agency.

That seems like it is a lot of pressure for a fifth-round pick in 2016 from Grand Valley State, a Division II program in western Michigan.

So far, Judon has been up to the challenge. He is tied with fellow linebacker Pernell McPhee for a team-leading three sacks this season. Judon also ranks third on the Ravens with 19 tackles.

''Matthew plays super hard,'' Baltimore coach John Harbaugh said. ''He's had really great plays and he's had plays he wants to do better, like all guys. I never question his effort. I never question his intensity. He always wants to do well. He's very valuable and important to our defense. We need him.''

One of the areas Judon needs to improve is penalties.

Over the last 21 games, he has been flagged eight times. The penalties have included three for unnecessary roughness calls, one for roughing the passer and a horse-collar tackle Week 3 against Kansas City, which helped extend a drive and led to a touchdown.

''Those are things you have to make wise choices on,'' Harbaugh said, referring to the penalties. ''They call them the way they call them and they're pretty consistent with how they call them. We have to be pretty consistent with how we play all those kinds of things.''

Both Suggs and Smith left for huge deals in Arizona and Green Bay, respectively. Linebacker C.J. Mosley had contract discussions with the Ravens, but opted to sign a 5-year, $85-million deal with the Jets this offseason.

At age 27, Judon will likely have plenty of suitors if the Ravens can't reach a new deal with him before free agency. As a result, Judon does not know what to expect as the clock ticks down on his current contract.

''I have no clue what the future holds,'' Judon said. ''Hopefully, I'll be here forever and ever. But, like this offseason, we never know.''

While Judon is all business on the field, he also provides levity in the locker room. In this year's team photo, Judon is pointing to the sky with a huge grin as the rest of his teammates stare forward into the camera.

''We put our head down, go to work, put our helmets back on, and we're always up for a challenge, up for a party,'' he said about the camaraderie in the Ravens locker room.

The Ravens have uncharacteristically given up some big plays this season. They are ranked 21st in overall defense and 29th against the pass.

Baltimore has also managed nine sacks over five games. Judon is looking to do more to support the injury-riddled secondary, starting this week against the Cincinnati Bengals.

''Some of the quarterbacks have been getting the ball out pretty fast,'' Judon said. ''We've been up against some pretty good blocking schemes. When it really comes down to it, we have to win our one-on-ones up front. We have to do a better job getting to the quarterback and applying pressure and helping our secondary out.''

Player Notes
Travis Fulgham Aug 11 3:20am ET

The Green Bay Packers have claimed wide receiver Travis Fulgham off waivers from the Detroit Lions. A sixth-round pick out of Old Dominion last season, Fulgham appeared in three games for Detroit, playing 42 offensive snaps against Green Bay in December but not recording a target. With Devin Funchess opting out and a top-heavy receiving corps, it makes sense for Green Bay to add someone at the position, but Fulgham's a longshot to make any kind of impact on this team in 2020.

From RotoBaller

Alex Smith Aug 10 10:40pm ET

At one point, it looked like Washington quarterback Alex Smith would never step onto a football field again after a devastating leg injury in 2018, but head coach Ron Rivera says that if Smith is healthy, he'll have a chance to compete for the starting job. That's bad news for second-year passer Dwayne Haskins, who struggled as a rookie. Haskins not winning the starting job this year would signal bad news for his future in Washington and could suggest that the team will be looking for a new quarterback in 2021, as Smith's not the long term answer at this point in his career. This is a quarterback room to avoid in re-draft leagues this season.

From RotoBaller

Lamar Miller Aug 10 10:30pm ET

The New England Patriots have signed former Houston Texans running back Lamar Miller to a one-year deal. Miller missed all of 2019 after tearing his ACL and MCL in preseason, but the veteran back has shown some explosiveness in the past and adds important insurance to this backfield, especially with Sony Michel (foot) not a lock to be healthy Week 1. Miller's been good before, but he's likely just keeping the seat warm for Michel and even if Michel does miss time, Miller's likely to be part of a committee approach in New England. There's not a ton of reason to be excited about this signing for fantasy purposes, but Miller could be worth a late-round dart throw in deeper formats.

From RotoBaller

Sony Michel Aug 10 10:30pm ET

New England Patriots running back Sony Michel (foot) isn't a lock to be recovered by Week 1, putting a major question mark beside the back who most expected to lead this New England backfield in rushing attempts. The team signed veteran Lamar Miller as insurance on Monday, further complicating things and suggesting that Michel's injury issues will bleed over to the regular season. You almost have to be more wary of drafting Michel than you already were with this news, and you already should have been fairly low on him. He's not undraftable, but he's become a huge risk without a lot of upside.

From RotoBaller

Alvin Kamara Aug 10 5:30pm ET

New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara spoke to the media earlier Monday and offered more details about his injury-plagued 2019 season. Kamara said he "tore his knee' in Week 5 against Jacksonville last year and that he had to deal with it the rest of the season. The 25-year-old didn't require surgery, though he spent the entire offseason rehabbing the knee and said he feels healthy now. Kamara finished as the RB16 in PPR formats despite dealing with the knee and ankle injuries. Coming into 2020 a bit leaner after adopting a plant-based diet, Kamara is poised to have the best season of his career in a contract year. He should be a top-five pick in both formats and could be taken as early as the third pick in PPR leagues.

From RotoBaller

A.J. Green Aug 10 2:30pm ET

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green reportedly has been impressing teammates in practices this week as he works back from injuries that robbed him of his entire 2019 season. Tight end C.J. Uzomah told reporters, "We're just running routes and haven't gone full speed against the defense. Drew (Sample) only saw him last year for, what, that first practice? He said, 'I forgot how explosive he is.' I told him, 'You haven't seen the half of it yet.'" Green has serious bounce-back potential as the No. 1 WR in a Bengals offense that should be one of the most-improved in the league. He can be treated as an upside WR3 in fantasy drafts.

From RotoBaller

Carl Davis Aug 9 8:33pm ET

Free-agent CB Tramaine Brock and DT Carl Davis were signed to undisclosed contracts by the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday, Aug. 9.

From TheHuddle

Derrius Guice Aug 9 7:33pm ET

Free-agent RB Derrius Guice (Football Team) passed through waivers unclaimed Sunday, Aug. 9.

From TheHuddle

Kenjon Barner Aug 9 6:13pm ET

Free-agent RB Kenjon Barner (Falcons) is expected to sign with the Baltimore Ravens in the near future, according to a source.

From TheHuddle

Caraun Reid Aug 9 5:33pm ET

Free-agent DT Caraun Reid (Cardinals) signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars Sunday, Aug. 9. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

From TheHuddle

Marqui Christian Aug 9 5:23pm ET

Free-agent S Marqui Christian (Jets) recently met with the Chicago Bears.

From TheHuddle

Jordan Reed Aug 9 4:53pm ET

Free-agent TE Jordan Reed (Football Team) officially signed a one-year contract with the San Francisco 49ers Sunday, Aug. 9. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Fantasy Spin: Reed has dealt with injuries during his career but has posted solid numbers when healthy. He will be the No. 2 tight end for the 49ers behind George Kittle but should have a decent role in the passing game. Reed probably should be considered a No. 2 fantasy tight end in most leagues.

From TheHuddle

Tramaine Brock Aug 9 4:53pm ET

Free-agent CB Tramaine Brock (Titans) is meeting with the Jacksonville Jaguars Sunday, Aug. 9, and likely will sign with the team if the meeting goes well, according to a source.

From TheHuddle

Jatavis Brown Aug 9 4:23pm ET

Philadelphia Eagles LB Jatavis Brown was placed on the Reserve/Retired list Sunday, Aug. 9.

From TheHuddle

Mike Daniels Aug 9 3:33pm ET

Free-agent DT Mike Daniels (Lions) is meeting with the Cincinnati Bengals Sunday, Aug. 9, and is expected to sign with the team, according to a source.

From TheHuddle

A'Shawn Robinson Aug 9 3:03pm ET

Los Angeles Rams DT A'Shawn Robinson (undisclosed) is expected to play at some point during the 2020 season, but the team will take things slow with him since he was diagnosed with a medical issue during the medical on-boarding process.

From TheHuddle

Aug 9 2:53pm ET

Buffalo Bills WR Duke Williams was activated from the Reserve/COVID-19 list Sunday, Aug. 9. The team also released CB Akeem King.

From TheHuddle

Logan Thomas Aug 9 2:33pm ET

Washington Football Team TE Logan Thomas was activated from the Reserve/COVID-19 list Sunday, Aug. 9.

From TheHuddle

J.J. Wilcox Aug 9 1:13pm ET

Free-agent S J.J. Wilcox (Falcons) officially re-signed with the Atlanta Falcons Sunday, Aug. 9. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

From TheHuddle