The Ravens signed Roquan Smith to a five-year, $100 million contract in January, the biggest contract ever for an inside linebacker. They drafted Trenton Simpson in the third round and didn’t pick up the fifth-year option on Patrick Queen‘s contract.
That would lead to assumptions that the Ravens don’t have long-term plans for Queen, the 28th pick in 2020.
Even Queen seemed to have the feeling, tweeting “Sheesh” after the Ravens selected Simpson.
General Manager Eric DeCosta, though, said the team hopes to sign Queen to an extension.
“People want to jump to conclusions [and say], ‘Oh [Simpson] is going to replace Patrick,'” DeCosta said on the team website’s “The Lounge” podcast. “I can tell you this. Patrick Queen had a hell of a year last year. Patrick Queen is a very talented, in my mind, Pro Bowl-type linebacker. He’s going to have a great year this year.
“We want Patrick Queen on this team; we want to keep him on this team. We will, at some point, try to get him signed, hopefully, to an extension if we can.”
Queen is entering the final year of his rookie contract after the Ravens declined the fifth-year option worth $12.7 million for 2024.
“The fifth-year option was something that was more based on business and the salary-cap economics than actually Patrick Queen and his performance and what he does as a player,” DeCosta said. “He’s a difference-maker for us. When we had Patrick Queen and Roquan Smith last year over the last half of the season, we had a chance to see how dominant our defense could be.”
Queen set career highs in tackles (117), sacks (five), interceptions (two) and passes defensed (six) in 2022.
In the nine regular-season games Queen and Smith played together after Smith arrived in the trade from Chicago, the Ravens allowed only 14.7 points per game.
The Ravens have plans for Simpson to make it a trio of dominant players at the position.
“The appealing thing is getting Trenton in here with everything he can do as a blitzer, on third downs, off the edge, his special teams ability,” DeCosta said. “It’s really just us adding another fast, physical, smart linebacker to the mix and giving us a chance on defense to be the best that we can be.”