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Patrick Queen Chose Steelers Contract over Bigger Offers from Other Teams in NFL FA

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Patrick Queen signed a three-year, $41 million deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers this offseason, though he said Sunday he could have gotten even more had he chosen to sign elsewhere.

“From the 15 teams that I was talking to, it came down to five at the end,” he said on the Steelers Now podcast (1:33 mark). “Some were offering $17 (million). I had a chance to either go win or a chance to get paid. For me, the difference was like for or five million. I’m looking at [it] 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, 24, made waves when he signed with the Steelers this offseason after starting his career with the team’s hated rival, the Baltimore Ravens. During his four years in Baltimore he was a Pro Bowler and never finished with fewer than 98 tackles in a season.

He registered 133 tackles (nine for loss), 3.5 sacks, six quarterback hits, an interception and a fumble recovery in 17 games this past season.

Even signing in Pittsburgh, Queen still did well for himself despite the dollars he apparently gave up. His $13.6 million average annual salary ranks fourth in the NFL among inside linebackers, trailing only former teammate Roquan Smith ($20 million), San Francisco’s Fred Warner ($19 million) and Chicago’s Tremaine Edmunds ($18 million).

Smith’s big contract—and the selection of Trenton Simpson in the third round of the 2023 NFL draft—is why the Ravens allowed Queen to walk in free agency. Keeping all three would have been allocating heavy resources to inside linebacker, whereas teams generally prefer to spend more signficantly at quarterback, offensive tackle, wide receiver, edge-rusher, cornerback and defensive tackle.

So Queen paid them back by signing with a rival, and taking a discount to do so. That should add a little spice to the pair of games between the teams this season.

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