“...With the 86th pick In the 2024 Draft, the Baltimore Ravens select Trenton Simpson, linebacker, Clemson University.”
And with that sentence, everything came into focus just a few weeks later when the Ravens declined the 5th year option on Patrick Queen.
REASON TO BUY
After notching 117 tackles last season (his best to date), 5 sacks and 2 interceptions, one would think the Ravens would want to keep the pairing of Queen and Roquan Smith together for a long time. However, you haven’t paid attention to the Ravens lately. Of the top 10 highest paid Ravens (in relation to cap hit), only 3 of them play defense: Roquan Smith, Marlon Humphrey, and Tyus Bowswer. However, the Ravens knew they couldn’t commit a lot of money for 2024,with both Roquan Smith and Lamar Jackson’s newly signed contracts hitting the proverbial books. There is no indication from anyone from the Ravens that Queen’s option was declined because of his play. Instead, it's strictly a financial decision. His current situation is reminiscent of TJ Edwards and the Philadelphia Eagles. TJ Edwards has since signed a free agent contract with the Bears.
Patrick Queen has started every available game for the Ravens over the past three years.
And in those three years, Queen has amassed 321 total tackles, 10 sacks, 3 interceptions, and 4 forced fumbles. Those are numbers most teams would be ecstatic to have from a 23 year old linebacker. Queen is, at the very least, a solid linebacker who may make a Pro Bowl sooner rather than later. The Ravens opting to allow Queen to hit the free agent market after the 2023 season, is based on financials, not on his production. The next team that signs Patrick Queen will be getting a “star-in-the-making” when they add Queen to their defense.
REASON TO SELL
Yes, the Ravens declined the 5th year option on Patrick Queen. That extension would have required the Ravens to pay Queen $12 million dollars for the 2024 season. Having re-signed Roquan Smith to a contract extension worth over $100 million dollars over 5 years, it is not a shock that the Ravens did not want to commit more money to a position group when other (cheaper) options are available. Similar to running backs, linebackers have become a position that can be filled easier than many other positions in the NFL with lower-priced players. Will Patrick Queen go to another team and have the same situation like the Ravens that allows Queen to make plays?
Patrick Queen had his best year alongside a star linebacker. Will his next team be willing to spend money on a contract for a player that needs to be a “Robin” not a “Batman”? The success of the players that had their 5th year option declined is not good. The group for 2017 included: Malik Hooker, Jarrad Davis, Charles Harris, Gareon Conley, Tak McKinley, and Reuben Foster. From 2018, the defensive players not receiving an option were: Leighton Vander Esch, Rashaan Evans, Terrell Edmunds and Mike Hughea. The 2019 group included: Clelin Ferrel, Devin Bush, and Jerry Tillery, None of the lists includes a player of Patrick Queen’s quality. Devin Bush may be the closest comparable player to Queen from any of the list. Both Bush and Queen play linebacker and both have recorded more than 250 tackles in their careers. Bush signed a 1 year deal with the Seahawks in hopes to prove his worth. The rest of the defensive players listed have had minimal success in the NFL. Which also raises the question: If Queen is that good, why are the Ravens letting him walk? The Ravens may know something about Queen other teams will have to pay to find out. For a player managers want to invest in for IDP, it makes you wonder why a team is willing to let a player go and test free agency.
Patrick Queen is a solid linebacker. For IDP purposes, he is among the top 20 linebackers in the league and should continue that way for the foreseeable future.
I hope his contract situation doesn’t affect his mental state and he continues to perform like the fringer Pro-Bowler that he currently acts like. For your team, I love Patrick Queen as a 2nd or 3rd option at linebacker. He may never be a top LB option in IDP, but he will certainly be a solid depth choice for your roster. If a team is willing to part with him as Trenton Simpson looms to replace him, take the risk in acquiring Patrick Queen and I am confident you will be paid handsomely in the end.
Buy Patrick Queen!
Full time teacher, full time fantasy sports enthusiast. I try to look at fantasy sports through my own lens and share that vision with my readers I love to explore and find new, and exciting fantasy football options including: C2C, dynasty, IDP, and Devy. See me on Twitter @JGoody77
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