Skip to content

Queen: I turned down bigger offers to 'win now' with Steelers

Kirby Lee / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Patrick Queen said he could've made more money elsewhere this offseason but chose to sign with the Pittsburgh Steelers to compete for a Super Bowl straight away.

"From the 15 teams that I was talking to, it came down to five at the end. … Some were offering some ($17 million per year)," Queen recently told Derrick Bell of Steelers Now. "I had a chance to either go win or a chance to get paid. For me, the difference was like $4 million or $5 million.

"I'm looking at it like, 'I have never been on a losing team before. I also don't want to be part of anything being rebuilt because I'm trying to win now.'"

Queen joined Pittsburgh on a three-year, $41-million deal in one of the offseason's most surprising decisions. The deal - which included an $11.6-million signing bonus and $13.8 million guaranteed - was the largest free-agent signing in Steelers history. He ranks fourth among inside linebackers with a $13.7-million average annual salary, according to Spotrac.

The 24-year-old spent his first four NFL seasons with the Baltimore Ravens, who drafted him in the first round in 2020. Baltimore declined Queen's fifth-year option in May 2023, letting him hit free agency this year.

"I am really just trying to win right now and get that out of the way. I will get paid later," Queen added.

The LSU product has had an up-and-down NFL career but is coming off his best pro season, as he helped the Ravens finish 2023 with the league's top-ranked defense while playing beside two-time first-team All-Pro linebacker Roquan Smith.

Queen finished last season with 133 tackles (nine for loss), six pass breakups, 3.5 sacks, and one interception en route to earning a second-team All-Pro for the first time.

The Steelers reached the playoffs in three of the last four seasons but haven't won a postseason game since the 2016 campaign. They suffered a 31-17 wild-card loss to the Buffalo Bills in January.

Pittsburgh has boasted solid defensive units under head coach Mike Tomlin's watch. However, the Steelers have struggled offensively in recent years. Tomlin's outfit - which dealt Kenny Pickett to the Philadelphia Eagles - signed Russell Wilson and traded for Justin Fields this offseason while trying to solve its quarterback issues.

Daily Newsletter

Get the latest trending sports news daily in your inbox