Ravens LB Roquan Smith Addresses Former Teammate Joining Division Rival

Ravens LB Roquan Smith celebrates in AFC Championship Game against Chiefs.

Getty Ravens LB Roquan Smith celebrates in AFC Championship Game against Chiefs.

With voluntary workouts starting on Monday, April 15, the Baltimore Ravens began their quest to capture the team’s third Super Bowl. However, they will be attempting to do so after the departure of a familiar face in the linebacking room, Patrick Queen.

Fellow LB, and now former teammate, Roquan Smith spoke to Ravens’ media on Wednesday, April 17, and was asked about the departure of his former running mate. Smith said, “Life happens, and he’s somewhere else right now.”

Queen joined the Pittsburgh Steelers this offseason on a surprising 3-year, $41 million contract, which was a bit of a steal considering he was the top LB on the market this offseason.

Smith told reporters, “I gotta tear his picture down in the linebacking room. We have linebackers all over the wall, so I need to probably make a video of me like maybe punching it.” All of this was said with a smile and a joking manner by Smith.

The Ravens will face Queen twice a year now and as Smith explained, “Maybe I’ll ask Hort, get out there on special teams. Maybe a punt play and hopefully it’s d state and get something with him.”

However, the Ravens captain explained, “I’m happy for him, I am wishing him all the best. It’ll be good to see him twice a year, he is still my guy but you know war is war.”

Patrick Queen Capitalized on Dynamic Duo at LB Position

Queen was a 2020 first round pick by the Ravens that was projected to be the successor to C.J. Mosely in the line of great Ravens linebackers.

Queens production could be boiled down to mixed results. Queen has had 100 combined tackles in three of his four years but struggled as the quarterback of the defense. Heading into his third season, Baltimore was unsure if he would live up the expectations they had for him.

Midseason they traded for Smith from the Chicago Bears, who took over calling the defense, and allowed Queen to focus on just playing football. The addition of Smith formed a dynamic LB tandem that became one of the best in the league.

Queen put up career numbers in 2022, but the writing on the wall became apparent when the Ravens game Smith a 5-year, $100 million contract. Then in May of 2023, the general manager Eric DeCosta did not pick up Queen’s 5th-year option, making him a free agent following the season.

The 24-year-old responded with a career season in his walk-year. Queen had 133 combined tackles (career high), 3.5 sacks, 9 tackles for loss and 6 QB hits.

He was named as an All-Pro Second Team LB and Pro Bowler for the first times in his career. The Ravens were cap strapped during free agency, so while there was hope, it was always unlikely he would be able to return.

It will be interesting to see how Queen plays without Smith by his side but at such a young age he is just coming into his potential prime.

Ravens Will See Some Familiar Faces in Division Matchups

It is impossible to keep every player you draft due to the salary cap, but fans hate seeing homegrown products joining division rivals.

RB Saquon Barkley caused a stir, when he left the New York Giants for the Philadelphia Eagles, between himself and former Giants RB Tiki Barber.

Queen was not the first Raven to join a division rival this offseason. Breakout safety Geno Stone joined the Cincinnati Bengals after a successful walk year himself.

The seventh-round draft pick stepped in for an injured Marcus Williams and made the most of his opportunity. He had 66 combined tackles and 7 interceptions, which had fans in love to start the season.

Stone and Queen were integral parts of the Ravens’ dominant defense, but now fans and former teammates will have to see them on the opposite side twice a year.

Read More