Matt Judon recruiting free agents to Patriots is exactly why fans love him
By Jerry Trotta
NFL free agency is underway and New England Patriots fans are waiting patiently for the team to make its first new signing of 2022.
In comparison to last offseason, when the Patriots ripped off a plethora of signings in the early stages of the legal tampering period, we get the sense Bill Belichick and Co. are feeling out the market this time around.
While the Patriots did well to re-sign Devin McCourty, who hasn’t missed a start since 2014 and Brian Hoyer, who proved invaluable as a mentor for rookie Mac Jones this past season, they risk falling even lower in the AFC pecking order if the don’t start making more large-scale moves.
It appears Matt Judon is fully aware of this, because the star edge rusher made himself busy during Monday’s free agency frenzy.
In a string of tweets that have seen been deleted, Judon put his recruiting hat on by reaching out to Allen Robinson and Bobby Wagner, two of the most coveted players at the wide receiver and linebacker positions this offseason.
Matt Judon is busy recruiting big-name free agents to the Patriots.
Look at Judon putting in the work!
It seems the star edge rusher has a strong pulse on the Patriots’ fan base. With pressing needs at both linebacker and wide receiver, signing just one of Wagner or Robinson would quell a lot of concerns about the 2022 roster.
Being a defensive savant, it’s no surprise that Judon tweeted at Wagner, an eight-time Pro Bowler with the Seahawks and a member of the 2010s All-Decade Team, on two separate occasions in the past week.
It’s unclear whether the Patriots are pursuing Wagner, but Judon’s evident appreciation of the 31-year-old’s craft suggests he’s already made a pitch to Bill Belichick on Wagner’s behalf.
We’ll know soon enough how much pull Judon has on the Patriots’ personnel decisions. Our guess is not much, but he sure has an eye for talent.
While Wagner would be a revelation for New England’s defense with Dont’a Hightower and Ja’Whaun Bentley out of a contract, Robinson would have a similar impact on the team’s receiving corps, which lacks a No. 1 option for Jones.
A hamstring injury and subpar play from rookie Justin Fields derailed Robinson’s contract year with the Bears, but he was incredibly productive in 2019 and 2020, catching a combined 200 passes for 2,397 and 13 touchdowns.
Suffice it to say that the Patriots landing one of these players would help the offseason go down as a success.
If they pull it off, Judon will deserve a share of the credit.