Patrick Queen is Public Enemy No. 1 in Baltimore after Steelers press conference

Queen seems to be relishing the chance to beat the Ravens

Seattle Seahawks v Baltimore Ravens
Seattle Seahawks v Baltimore Ravens / Michael Owens/GettyImages

The Baltimore Ravens saw two members of their heralded defense leave in free agency for divisional rivals, with safety Geno Stone signing a two-year deal with the Cincinnati Bengals and linebacker Patrick Queen committing perhaps an even bigger betrayal by signing a three-year contract with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Considering that Queen only signed for under $14 million per season with a team that he has gone on the record saying some less-than-glowing things about, his decision to leave Baltimore for the black and gold comes as a great shock, even if the Ravens weren't expected to retain him.

Queen seems to be well aware of how much his old fans in Baltimore were upset with his decision, as he is now leaning into his role as one of the most hated men in Maryland. His comments at his introductory press conference make him sound like someone ready to exact revenge on the Ravens.

Queen said he is looking forward to being "that villain" when the Steelers and Ravens inevitably clash. Queen said he is relishing the opportunity to play against his old teammates in Baltimore, which makes him as close to Benedict Arnold as any past Ravens free agent defector.

Patrick Queen wants to be "villain" after leaving Ravens for Steelers

The Queen contract will be judged as a success or failure based on how much he is able to replicate a 2023 season in which he was a Pro Bowler and Second Team All-Pro. Queen amassed 133 tackles and enhanced his reputation as one of the best blitzing linebackers in the game.

Having said that, it's easy to forget how inconsistent (and oftentimes bad) Queen was in the first two years of his career. Was his improvement a result of him putting things together, or the product of playing alongside arguably the best linebacker in the AFC in Roquan Smith and a great DC in Mike Macdonald?

Regardless, this should add even more fuel to one of the most vicious rivalries in the game. With the Steelers shipping Kenny Pickett to the Eagles and bringing in Russell Wilson as the new starting quarterback, Mike Tomlin is trying to supplant Baltimore atop the division once again.

Queen may have been a terrific performer for the Ravens in his tenure with the team, but once he puts on that Steelers jersey, he immediately relinquished the good will he engendered with this fanbase. The first Pittsburgh-Baltimore game this year will be electric.