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Patrick Queen Turned Down More Money to Sign with Steelers

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Patrick Queen
Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Patrick Queen at OTAs on May 21, 2024. -- Ed Thompson/ Steelers Now

In an exclusive interview with Derrick Bell of Steelers Now, Patrick Queen revealed an interesting nugget on why he signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers in free agency. According to Queen, he had opportunities to earn more money elsewhere but chose Pittsburgh because he is focused on winning right now.

“From the 15 teams that I was talking to it came down to like five at the end. It was five teams in the mix. Some were offering some seventeens ($17 million per year). I had a chance to either go win or a chance to get paid. For me, the difference was like four or five million. I’m looking at like I have never been on a losing team before. I also don’t want to be part of anything being rebuilt because I’m trying to win now,” Queen told Bell in an interview on the Steelers_DB YouTube Channel.

The Steelers signed Queen to a three-year, $41 million deal in March. It’s the largest free-agent signing in Steelers’ history by almost $5 million annually. That’s a pretty lucrative deal for a linebacker, but as Queen mentioned, he could have made about $4-5 million more with another team. All he cares about is winning.

“I am really just trying to win right now and get that out of the way. I will get paid later,” Queen said.

Pittsburgh Steelers LB Patrick Queen

Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Patrick Queen at OTAs, May 21, 2024 – Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

In 2023, Queen played in all 17 games, racking up 133 tackles, nine tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, six quarterback hits, six passes defended, one interception and one forced fumble. He was named a second-team All-Pro and was selected to the AFC Pro Bowl squad, his first career honor in each category.

Queen, who’s only 24 and heading into his fifth season, broke out over the last two seasons with Roquan Smith starting opposite of him. Before Smith’s arrival at the trade deadline in 2022, Queen was solid, but he really didn’t standout. Several analysts, especially in the Baltimore media, question if Queen can be an elite linebacker without Smith.

“He’s a former first-round pick who had his struggles,” Eric Eager of SumerSports said on Brian Batko of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Chipped Ham and Football podcast. “And then they brought a guy in like Roquan Smith to kind of help him out, and Patrick Queen was able to shine. … Can he thrive in a linebacker room where he is going to have to be the top guy now? He struggled in that role in Baltimore. Can he emerge? He’s still a young guy.”

Sports talk host Rob Long of 1.057 The Fan in Baltimore expressed a similar statement.

“I don’t know if (Queen) can be the guy without Roquan Smith. … I think Steelers Nation is going to be a little bit disappointed,” Long said on 93.7 The Fan.

The early returns on Queen in Pittsburgh have been rather positive, however. Steelers All-Pro outside linebacker T.J. Watt said speed is the first thing that comes to mind with Queen.

Watt also said he looks forward to getting to know Queen and getting to learn and hopefully take something away from him to help his game and the defense overall.