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Mike Tomlin Has Been Targeting Patrick Queen for Years

The Baltimore Ravens landed Patrick Queen but Mike Tomlin and the Pittsburgh Steelers have wanted him for years.



Pittsburgh Steelers Patrick Queen
Baltimore Ravens inside linebacker Patrick Queen celebrates against the Pittsburgh Steelers during an NFL football game at Heinz Field, Sunday, Dec. 5, 2021 in Pittsburgh. (Winslow Townson/AP Images for Panini)

The Pittsburgh Steelers poached an All-Pro from the Baltimore Ravens in Patrick Queen. But if Mike Tomlin’s comments were anything to note, it seems it had been in the cards for a long time. In his rookie season, Tomlin had choice words for Queen on the Steelers sideline, stating that he was not a Raven. Now, he’s not.

But it was part of a long line of interest the Steelers had in Queen dating back to his time at LSU. And it’s quite clear Pittsburgh, specifically Tomlin, has wanted Queen for a long time.

“When I was on their sideline my rookie year [Steelers Head Coach] Mike Tomlin was looking at me, yelling at me, ‘You’re not a Raven. You’re not a Raven. You’re not supposed to be there. You’re not one of them.’ So, every time I play them there’s something personal,” Queen said back in October. “I don’t care if he was joking. I don’t care if he was serious. At the end of the day I’m on your sideline and you’re telling me I’m not a Raven. That’s kind of disrespectful.”

Patrick Queen and the Steelers have reportedly agreed on a three-year deal that will pay him $41 million and keep the star linebacker in the AFC North, with the Steelers wrestling him away from their division rivals.

The 24-year-old was Baltimore’s first-round pick out of LSU in 2020, and has been a starter for all four seasons on the Ravens defense, but Baltimore had to deal with both Queen and his partner Roquan Smith both hitting free agency this offseason. The Ravens chose to re-sign Smith to a five-year, $100 million contract in late January and let Queen hit the market, where the last team they likely wanted him to land snapped him up.

Queen is coming off his best statistical season in Baltimore. In 2023, he 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.

The 6-foot, 230-pound linebacker does not have the size of typical Steelers players at the position, but he makes up for it with blistering speed. Queen ran a 4.5-second 40-yard dash and posted a 10-foot-5 broad jump at the 2020 NFL Combine.