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Patrick Queen (Steelers): “I refused more money to win in Pittsburgh”

At the end of 2022, the Ravens chose to make Roquan Smith one of the highest paid defenders in the NFL, with $20 million per season. In doing so, they precipitated the departure of Patrick Queen onto the open market.

A Pro Bowler and named to the All-Pro second team in 2023, the linebacker has no shortage of suitors on the market. He was thus able to choose his new club, the Steelers, on salary but above all sporting grounds. Because the most important thing for him at the moment is to win a ring even if it means cutting into his salary.

A recruiting adventure that he told Steelers_DB.

“Out of the 15 teams I talked to, it came down to five in the end,” Queen said. “There were only five left in the end. Some have offered up to 17 (million dollars per season). Finally I told myself that either I had a chance of winning, or I had a chance of getting paid. For me it corresponded to a difference of 4 or 5 million. But I've never been on a losing team before, and I don't want to be part of a rebuilding project because I want to win now… I'm just trying to win now, that way it'll be done, and I'll will pay later. »

Patrick Queen Top 5 salaries for his position

And even if with 13.6 million per season, Queen ranks as the fifth highest-paid linebacker in the league, he will be able to line up alongside TJ Watt and Alex Highsmith in a team that has never experienced a negative season. in 17 years under Mike Tomlin.

Additionally, during the offseason, Pittsburgh signed Russell Wilson and Justin Fields, and invested in its offensive line to elevate its offense to the level of its ferocious defense. Recruitments and a reputation that ultimately convinced Queen to move to a division opponent, even though the Steelers were not the highest bidder.

A production challenge in the field

However, beyond the financial aspect, the personal stakes are always high for him on a sporting level. Queen is aiming for the top of the basket to continue its career in the league. Which should please his new team, and ensure its claims in the future.

“For my part, I want to confirm my position as one of the three best linebackers in the NFL,” he said regarding his ambitions for 2024. “Some say top 3, others top 10, or even top 7 – it doesn't matter – my ambition is to confirm in the top 3. Without ranking. I don't care as long as it's top 3.

It's my goal. And what goes with it, All-Pro, Pro Bowl, tackles, turnovers. For me the most important thing is turnovers. Put your hand on the ball. Forced fumbles or interceptions, it doesn't matter. »

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