BREAKING NEWS: Browns move to snatch Ravens’ $12 Million Big-Play Defender

This season, the Cleveland Browns’ defense has played at a championship caliber, but it will take ongoing effort to keep it there.

After examining what the Browns will need on that side of the ball in the upcoming offseason, the NFL Staff at Bleacher Report determined that Cleveland ought to make a move for linebacker Patrick Queen of the Baltimore Ravens.

Off-ball linebacker has not historically been given priority by the Browns front office, but the same could have been said of defensive tackle the previous campaign. They nonetheless signed Dalvin Tomlinson to a competitive contract in spite of that, according to BR. Given that Sione Takitaki and Anthony Walker Jr. will be available for free agency in the upcoming offseason, they may try to sign Patrick Queen away from Baltimore. Queen produces enough big plays to warrant a pay raise.

Patrick Queen Could Provide Browns with Stability in a Critical Situation

Baltimore Ravens Preseason (Jacksonville Jaguars) Takeaways - Baltimore  Beatdown

With the No. 28 overall pick in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft, Queen was chosen by the Ravens out of LSU.

In the fourth year of his four-year, $12.2 million rookie contract, Queen is on the field. The linebacker’s 2024 contract has a $12.7 million fifth-year option that Baltimore chose not to exercise, so in March he will become a free agent.

Why the Browns should aggressively pursue a player that Baltimore has decided not to invest in further—at least not at this time—may be questioned by a skeptic. The Ravens may first try to sign Queen in free agency in order to obtain his services for a lower cost.

Steelers HC Mike Tomlin believes Patrick Queen “might be the best  linebacker in the AFC North” - Baltimore Beatdown

Second, Takitaki and Walker, two of the Browns’ starting linebackers, could be lost to other teams in the upcoming offseason. After nine weeks, the defense leads the NFL in defense, but if it wants to repeat that success in 2024, it needs to secure the second level.

The Browns’ ability to qualify for the Super Bowl may depend on their ability to put forth that kind of effort and performance, given the offense’s persistent struggles, particularly at quarterback. Next season, Deshaun Watson’s salary cap amount will increase to $64 million, where it will stay for three years until the end of his fully-guaranteed $230 million contract.

Cleveland has to make smart spending decisions but it has to invest in the football defense if it wants to stay relevant. Queen’s market value is estimated by Spotrac to be $17 million per season over the course of a new four-year contract; the Browns will need to significantly undercut this estimate in order for Queen to be a realistic free agent option.

Spotrac initiatives Cleveland is expected to have -$7.3 million in salary cap space at the start of the offseason, though more moves are expected to lower that amount.

With the Ravens, Patrick Queen Has a History of Changing the Game

Source - Ravens decline LB Patrick Queen's 2024 option - ESPN

After joining the league in 2020, Queen has been a full-time starter and, 59 games into his career, has not missed a regular season game.

Out of 81 players who have played enough snaps to be considered for the position, Pro Football Focus ranks Queen as the 33rd-best linebacker in the NFL after nine weeks of play. According to PFF’s analytics, he is above average as a run defender and pass rusher and is mediocre in coverage.

According to Pro Football Reference, Queen has totaled 396 tackles in his career, including 35 tackles for loss, 41 pressures, 32 quarterback hits, 13.5 sacks, 12 pass breakups, 4 forced fumbles, 3 interceptions, and 1 defensive touchdown.

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