Matthew Judon on why he isn’t throwing ‘tantrums’ over contract


“I could be broke, and I could be living paycheck to paycheck or struggling.”

New England Patriots linebacker Matthew Judon arrives during training camp on the Gillette Stadium practice field.
Matthew Judon has been an active participant at mandatory minicamp this week. hoto by Matthew J. Lee/Globe Staff

All eyes are on Matthew Judon entering the final year of his contract in 2024.

When compared to the going rate for disruptive defensive stalwarts in the NFL, the veteran pass-rusher is relatively underpaid in 2024 — accounting for a base salary of $6.5 million this year.

But after not taking part in mandatory workouts last season (but still showing up on the field to avoid any fines) as part of a plan to rework his guaranteed salary in 2023, Judon was an active participant during New England’s mandatory minicamp practice on Monday.

Even though his “hold-in” last summer helped him secure a large payout in 2023, Judon stressed that he isn’t looking to follow a similar script this year — even with the uncertainty involving his contract.

“I’m just gonna get ready to play. And you know, you kind of don’t – you kind of keep throwing tantrums, tantrums, tantrums, and then you don’t come out there and do what you’re supposed to do? It kind of gets old real fast,” Judon said on WZLX’s “The Rich Shertenlieb Show” Tuesday morning. “I ain’t really trying to do that.

“I’m just trying to come out here and play football, get ready for this upcoming season, and put our defense and ourself in a position to where we can win the most games or be the most effective. So that’s what I’m really on right now. I ain’t worried about holding out, sitting out … Because last year, that stuff was trash. I ain’t really like that. Like I’m a football player, I don’t want to get into the agency side. So I’m gonna come out here and play some football.”

Even though Judon may not be currently compensated like some of the elite pass rushers in the NFL in 2024, he offered to put things in perspective.

“I’m getting paid so much to play a game and to have y’all watch me,” Judon said. “So you’ve gotta think about it like that. It’s like, all right, I could be getting paid a lot more or I could be doing this or I could be doing that. Or y’all could not know my name, and I could be broke, and I could be living paycheck to paycheck or struggling.”

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