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Patrick Queen Signs with Steelers: How Ravens Will 'Be Fine' Without Star Linebacker

Despite seeing a key defensive player head to a division rival, the Baltimore Ravens will be perfectly fine without Patrick Queen in 2024.
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Free agents for the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens have switched sides since the Ravens were first created in 1996. Rod Woodson, Carnell Lake, Mike Wallace, and Le'Veon Bell are just a few names that have seen both sides of the league's most heated rivalry. 

Now, Patrick Queen has become the latest in a long line of solid players - OK, maybe "star-quality players'' is a better way to phrase this - to get that experience. 

When Queen signed a three-year, $41 million deal with the Steelers Tuesday, he did so knowing that the Ravens would lose a linebacker, on top of the other free agents they have already lost like safety Geno Stone, and offensive lineman John Simpson. 

Unlike those two other positions, though, the Ravens may not miss Queen as much as people think. 

All-Pro linebacker Roquan Smith is still locked up to a long-term deal with the Ravens. The former Bear has been far more dominant than Queen has been as a first-round pick out of LSU. While Queen has not had a bad career to this point, the breakout season in 2023 could be directly attributed to Smith's entrance to the team. 

Baltimore also has a young linebacker named Trenton Simpson they seem more than comfortable with trusting for the 2024 season. 

Simpson, the third-round pick from the 2023 draft, played in 15 games for Baltimore and is seen as a high-upside player out of Clemson. He has the quality speed to be a dependable player with proper coaching. 

With linebacker coach Zach Orr promoted to defensive coordinator, it's a safe bet to assume that the organization could provide some trust in his overall development. 

And again, it helps to have an All-Pro linebacker already on the field to help. 

With Simpson's upside, and Smith's continued dominance, there's no guarantee that the Ravens will be missing Queen at all in 2024.