Eliot Wolf is reportedly prioritizing extending top Patriots player

Miami Dolphins v New England Patriots
Miami Dolphins v New England Patriots / Kathryn Riley/GettyImages

Because the Patriots had an underwhelming free agency this offseason, there was hope they would at least extend some of their most valuable and impactful players to make up for it.

They did by signing Kyle Dugger to a four-year, $58 million contract extension to keep him in Foxboro through 2027 and followed it up with signing Christian Barmore to a 4 year , $83,000,000 extension to make him one of the highest-paid defensive tackles in the league.

The offense was addressed, too. Kendrick Bourne and Hunter Henry each signed three-year deals to keep them on the team through 2026, both of which were great signings to maintain consistency offensively and provide excellent weapons for Drake Maye.

Although fans unanimously approved the new contracts for the players, one player was seemingly not dealt with who most felt should have been a priority.

Eliot Wolf is reportedly prioritizing extending top Patriots player

Matthew Judon has become a staple of the defense since signing with the team during Bill Belichick's 2021 free-agency spending spree. He has become a leader and mentor for his teammates and the main destructor of opposing offenses.

His performance through three seasons (technically 2.5 since he left last season in Week 4) has already cemented his legacy in New England, as he reached the top ten all-time in sacks in Week 3 of last year. Judon can easily move into the top five this season and even higher if he remains with the team for a few more years.

According to ESPN's Mike Reiss, that appears to be one of Eliot Wolf's next moves. He revealed on Sunday that the new VP of player personnel intends to continue extending more players after re-signing David Andrews last week.

Reiss notes that Judon is almost certainly on that list. Because of his importance to the team and the unlikeliness that the pass rusher will play in 2024 on his current contract, he should be the next one up.

"Newly appointed Patriots executive vice president of player personnel Eliot Wolf has been checking off items on his contractual "to-do" list, most recently extending starting center and team leader David Andrews' deal.

So perhaps the most significant item remaining is with veteran outside linebacker Matthew Judon, who is scheduled to earn a base salary of $6.5 million in the final year of his contract. That is well under the market for a player of his caliber, and it's hard to imagine Judon agreeing to play under those terms. At the same time, Judon's return from a torn biceps that limited him to four games last season, coupled with his age (32 in August), add layers of note in any negotiation."

Hopefully, Reiss is right, and Wolf will shift his focus to Judon as soon as possible. Considering the pass rush has been essentially nonexistent when he's not on the field, extending Judon is the only and best start if the team wants to have any hope of making opponents fear the defense.

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