Patrick Queen, mad at Ravens but focused on improving through 2023 season

Carolina Panthers v Baltimore Ravens
Carolina Panthers v Baltimore Ravens / Scott Taetsch/GettyImages

One of the main storylines of the Baltimore Ravens' offseason was the decision they had to make about inside linebacker Patrick Queen's fifth year and whether or not they would extend the rookie deal for an extra year.

Ultimately, the Ravens decided to pass on activating such an option, turning Queen's 2023 season into a contract year for the former 2020 first-round pick. By declining the option, Queen missed landing a saucy $12.7 million in 2024 with the next campaign his last one under contract at Baltimore.

Queen was scheduled to speak after Monday's practice and he did so, revealing some details about the situation and how he's dealing with it.

"Everybody around me was pissed, I was pissed myself," Queen said after Day 5 of training camp, as quoted by Brian Wacker of The Baltimore Sun. "At the end of the day, I get to go out here and play football in the NFL," he conceded.

Coach John Harbaugh was asked about Queen's mentality and what's coming his way next season. The coach made it clear that Queen is "locked in" and that the expectations for him are "to have a stellar season and it’s only been affirmed by the way he’s practiced, the way he’s carried himself."

Entering a contract year, Queen still thinks that he "definitely haven’t gotten close to the surface of the player I can be."

Both the coach and the player seem to agree that Queen is focused on improving his game, keeping up with the growth as a more and more talented player, and not getting distracted.

"He’s in a contract year, and sometimes guys get distracted--he has not been distracted at all," Harbaugh said. "He’s been locked in on the mission ahead and you appreciate that."

Queen finished last year (definitely his best since he entered the league) racking up 117 tackles to go with five sacks, six broken passes, and a couple of interceptions. He found a fantastic partner in crime in fellow ILB Roquan Smith, who the Ravens traded for midway through the 2022 season.

The Ravens have been able to put together one of the better tandems (if not the best) of inside linebackers across the NFL landscape by pairing Smith and Queen, and although it'll take a financial effort to keep both in tow next season after Baltimore ponied up $100 million on an extension offered to Smith, they one the price will be right if Queen keeps delivering the goodies.

Queen knows it too, and whether he ends up re-linking with the Ravens or playing elsewhere from 2024 on, the best way for him to earn a hefty contract is by putting on weekly performances and raising the bar as he's been doing of late. At least for another season, the Ravens will be the ones enjoying this man.

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