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Patrick Queen Wants to Become a Top-3 Linebacker in NFL



Pittsburgh Steelers LB Patrick Queen

Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Patrick Queen currently is the fifth-highest paid linebacker in the NFL on a per-year basis with an average of $13.6 million. He could have made up to $17 million per year, but he told Derrick Bell of Steelers Now in an exclusive interview that he took less to sign with the Steelers because he wants to win right now.

Queen, 24, recorded over 100 tackles in his last two seasons with the Baltimore Ravens. In 2023, he was named second-team All-Pro and earned his first Pro Bowl selection. Last season was a breakout year for Queen, racking up 133 tackles, nine tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, six quarterback hits, six passes defended, one interception and one forced fumble.

Queen thinks he’s at that point of his career where he needs to solidify himself as one of the game’s best linebackers.

“For me, just solidifying myself as a top-three linebacker in the NFL,” Queen told Bell in an interview on the Steelers DB YouTube Channel. “There’s some people saying top three, some people saying top 10, some people saying top seven — whatever it may be — so my job this year is just to solidify top three. No order. I don’t care as long as I solidify myself top three. That’s what my goal is. And what comes with is All-Pro, Pro Bowl, tackles, turnovers. I think turnovers is the biggest thing. Getting my hands on the ball, whether that’s forced fumbles, interceptions, whatever I got to do.”

Pittsburgh Steelers ILB Patrick Queen Elandon Roberts

Pittsburgh Steelers linebackers Patrick Queen and Elandon Roberts during OTAs at UPMC Rooney Sports Complex on May 23, 2024. — Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

Many naysayers believe Roquan Smith played a huge part in Queen’s success over the last two seasons. Before Smith’s arrival at the trade deadline in 2022, Queen was solid, but he really didn’t standout. It should be noted, however, that Queen is only 24 years old and was drafted when he was 20. So the first two seasons could have been an adjustment period for him.

“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.”

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.

Queen also loves the vibes in Pittsburgh, and especially enjoys playing for Mike Tomlin.

“Yeah, he’s been cracking jokes the last (two) days, so I wouldn’t expect nothing less,” Queen said at OTAs last week. “But he definitely (has) you in the right mindset before practice and during practice. It’s not just strictly football related. He will crack jokes, but there is also a time where he is serious and you can tell. It’s everything you would want in a head coach.”