The Ravens have reportedly declined to pick up Patrick Queen's fifth-year option, per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
That means Queen will enter the final year of his rookie contract with the Ravens in 2023. The fifth-year option would have reportedly cost $12.7 million for 2024.
Queen is coming off his best season yet, in which he notched career highs in tackles (117), sacks (5.0), and interceptions (2). He and Roquan Smith make a fearsome duo in the middle of Baltimore's defense.
General Manager Eric DeCosta had declined on several occasions to specify the team's plans with Queen, but he has made clear his affinity for the player he selected in the first round (No. 28 overall) in 2020.
"We love Patrick; I love Patrick," DeCosta said Friday. "Patrick is, in my mind, one of the better Will linebackers in the league. He's smart, he works his butt off, he has a bright future. I think he's a Pro Bowl linebacker in the making."
Queen is an ultra-talented player, but there have been media questions about his long-term future in Baltimore since the Ravens traded a second-round pick for Smith, then signed him to a long-term extension last season.
The Ravens drafted linebacker Trenton Simpson out of Clemson with their second pick (third round) three days ago. DeCosta stressed that he picked Simpson because he was the best player available.
Baltimore envisions one of the top linebacker rooms in the NFL in 2023 with Smith, Queen, Simpson and others providing playmaking ability, versatility, and reliability in the heart of the Ravens defense.
On Friday night, Head Coach John Harbaugh said Inside Linebackers Coach Zach Orr had already talked to Queen and that Harbaugh had spoken to him in recent days.
"The more good players we can have on our team, the more our guys should be happy," Harbaugh said. "So, this guy [Simpson] – when this guy comes in, all of our players, our linebackers are going to love him."