Rumored update on Matthew Judon's status is bad news for the Patriots

Indianapolis Colts v New England Patriots
Indianapolis Colts v New England Patriots / Billie Weiss/GettyImages

Throughout the 2024 offseason, the Patriots have prioritized extending their most valuable players to ensure they are building their roster for the future, especially as they hope to have a new franchise quarterback leading the way to success.

So far, they have given new contracts to several players on both offense and defense, including Christian Barmore, Kendrick Bourne, Kyle Dugger, and Mike Onwenu. They even extended Rhamondre Stevenson as he was set to play on the final year of his rookie contract this fall.

But there's one player who has been noticeably left out of the lengthy list of extensions who might possibly be a top 3 player on the team, which doesn't bode well for the future of the team's defense.

Despite Eliot Wolf's claim to prioritize extending Matthew Judon, the Patriots are less than three weeks away from the start of training camp. The linebacker has already stayed away from the team when possible this spring by not attending OTAs and being scarce during minicamp, so it's more than likely if a deal doesn't get done before training camp, he will holdout.

Unfortunately, that's looking more and more likely based on the most recent rumor regarding how close, or not close, an extension is coming to fruition, which is a disappointing update for the new regime in Foxboro.

Henry McKenna of Fox Sports reported on Tuesday that the Patriots have made an offer to Judon, but they are not close to getting the deal done.

The Patriots and Matthew Judon are not close in finalizing an extension beyond the 2024 season

Because of the addition of Jerod Mayo as the Patriots new head coach and Eliot Wolf as the executive vice president of player personnel, there was optimism that a new deal would be done for Judon at some point this offseason.

It seemed more likely to happen as the weeks went on, as several players received extensions or new contracts altogether, some of which haven't been nearly as productive or instrumental to their unit as Judon.

So, hearing that an offer has been made but the two parties are far apart is a disappointing development, especially considering how much Judon is needed for the defense's success. We saw how much they fell off in his absence last season, pointing to his importance even more, which made it obvious they should keep him around long-term.

What makes the situation even worse is that an extension could have been handled much sooner than this offseason. Bill Belichick avoided it last year by restructuring Judon's contract to give him more money during the 2023 season. That leaves him with just $6.5 million due in 2024, a significantly undervalued contract for the caliber of player Judon is.

Hopefully, a deal will get done sooner rather than later despite many fans' concerns about Judon's age or health coming off a bicep injury last year. He has shown no sign of slowing down and has made it clear he wants to remain with the team, even stating he hopes to retire a Patriot, and it would be foolish of Wolf not to let that happen at this point.

However, based on subtle hints Judon has provided via social media regarding his status, it's not looking too good that he will be with the Patriots beyond this season.

It's possible he's just adding fuel to the fire and trying to get Patriots fans worked up, which he is known for doing. But if there is any truth to what he's saying or the latest rumor from McKenna, it's certainly not a good update for the Patriots.

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