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Around the AFC North: Patrick Queen Says He Took Less Money to Join Steelers

Steelers ILB Patrick Queen
Steelers ILB Patrick Queen

Pittsburgh Steelers: Patrick Queen Didn't Want to Sign With a Rebuilding Team to Make More Money

Patrick Queen added more fire to the Ravens-Steelers rivalry by signing with Pittsburgh in free agency. Now Queen says he could have signed elsewhere for several teams who offered more money.

Appearing on the SteelersDB podcast, Queen discussed the process that led to his reported three-year, $41 million contract with Pittsburgh. Queen said he heard from almost half of the NFL's 32 teams, and that he narrowed his choices to teams that gave him a chance to win right away.

"From all the 15 teams that I was talking to, it came down to like five at the end," Queen said via "It was just like five teams in the mix. Some of them were offering some $17 [million per year]. After that it was like, I have a chance to either go win or I have a chance to get paid. For me, the difference was like $4 or $5 million. I'm looking at it like, I've never been on a losing team before, and then I also don't want to be a part of anything being rebuilt because I'm trying to win now. … I'm really just trying to win right now, get that out the way and then get paid later."

Queen is the NFL's fifth highest-paid inside linebacker according to OverTheCap, with former teammate Roquan Smith leading the way at $20 million per year. Queen participated in Steelers' OTAs last week, familiarizing himself with his new role in one of sports' most intense rivalries.

Cincinnati Bengals: Geno Stone Using Film Study to Master New Defense

Geno Stone's instincts were evident with the Ravens last season when he led the AFC with seven interceptions.

Since joining the Bengals after departing Baltimore during free agency, Stone has been studying film with veteran safety Vonn Bell to master Cincinnati's defense.

"I hang around Vonn all the time," Stone said via Geoff Hobson of the team's website. "He'll tell me, 'Do this,' or I tell him what I see. We're having the conversations already. We've both been in different systems. We're trying to put how we see everything all together into one."

Cincinnati's safety rotation also includes talented second-year player Jordan Battle, who is coming off a strong rookie season. Bell believes the addition of Stone will help the Bengals produce more takeaways and surrender fewer big plays.

"[It helps] having somebody that has experience with it in high-level games," Bell said. "Knows what it takes to get the job done with it and knows how you can cheat it a little bit within the call. It's a good thing to have for sure."

Cleveland Browns: Running Back/Returner Nyheim Hines Plans to Return for Training Camp

Browns running back/returner Nyheim Hines has not participated in OTAs after missing the entire 2023 season (torn ACL) following a jet ski accident. Hines plans to return for training camp and be ready for Week 1.

"The goal is to be ready right around August 1 or end of July, depending on how my leg comes around," Hines said via Kelsey Russo of the team’s website. "But the goal is to be out there for Week 1."

During his six-year NFL career, Hines has four return touchdowns – two on kickoff and two on punts. He has rushed for 1,202 yards on 306 carries and also has 240 catches for 1,778 yards and eight touchdowns. He thinks he'll add explosiveness to the Browns on offense and special teams.

"I'm really excited to go out there and prove the offensive threat I am," Hines said. "And I'm just as big of a threat on offense as I am in the return game if it's passing, catching, kicking or in empty. So, I'm super excited to have the opportunity to prove to everybody what I can do on offense."

The jet ski accident cost Hines a year of football, and the Bills released him in March before he signed with Cleveland. Hines said the jet ski incident taught him a valuable lesson.

"Ten months later, I processed what happened to me as not a blessing in disguise, but it's something you learn from," Hines said. "You learn how things happen, what you can do not to be in that position.

"Honestly, this is the hardest thing in my life, and I truly believe that everything is on the other side of hard. If I can get through this hard part, I think the best times are coming."

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