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Patriots’ Matthew Judon wins over Donovan Mitchell with red sleeves

Boston
Boston
 2021-10-11

The Patriots linebacker and his signature sleeves have apparently made a lifelong fan out of Mitchell, a star guard for the Utah Jazz.

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Matthew Judon. AP Photo/Matt Patterson

Patriots linebacker Matthew Judon’s play since he joined New England in free agency merits headlines by itself. Through five games, he’s been by far the team’s best player on either side of the ball, with his 6.5 sacks already topping last year’s sack leader Chase Winovich’s total of 5.5 sacks for all of last year.

But his trademark red sleeves have arguably made him even more of a fan favorite than his stellar play alone.

For one thing, reporters like ESPN’s Mike Reiss wear the sleeves at press conferences Judon speaks at, and teammates like Adrian Phillips try to mimic the look at practice — with Judon’s permission, of course.

The signature sleeves also have apparently made a permanent fan out of electric Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell, who can’t get enough of them every time he hears about Judon’s exploits.

After expressing his appreciation for Judon over Twitter after the epic Patriots-Bucs game two Sundays ago, Mitchell hit social media again as Judon dominated the Houston Texans.

Judon got wind of the Twitter mention and suggested a jersey swap between the two stars, with some red sleeves thrown in, of course.

Mitchell’s response: “Say less.” (That means “Definitely” for those not up to speed.)

Always the comedian, Judon said he’d have his people get in touch with Mitchell’s, adding he’s “waited all my life to say this.”

No matter how you want to spin it, the former Baltimore Ravens edge rusher’s offseason signing has been a tremendous win for the Patriots so far. Not only has Judon put up the raw numbers, but he’s also provided an edge for a defensive unit coming off a rough season and has been quite arguably the most entertaining New England player in front of the microphone as well.

He’s certainly been must-see TV for the Patriots so far, including for some of the country’s biggest star athletes outside of football.

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