Packers Predicted to Pursue Projected $93 Million All-Pro Linebacker

Patrick Queen, Ravens

Getty Linebacker Patrick Queen of the Baltimore Ravens.

The Green Bay Packers defense is primed for some upgrades this offseason, either to the coaching staff, the roster or both.

Kristopher Knox of Bleacher Report on Saturday, January 20, examined the defense’s needs and a couple of the pending free agents who can make an immediate difference in 2024.

[GM Brian] Gutekunst hasn’t made a habit of chasing big-name players in free agency, so we can expect the Packers to be more active in the second and third waves. Continuing to build depth in the defensive front seven should be a priority, as Green Bay’s run defense remains a weakness.

The Packers finished the regular season ranked 28th in rushing yards allowed and 23rd in yards per carry allowed. Were the Packers to get aggressive, players like defensive tackle DaQuan Jones and linebacker Patrick Queen would become ideal free-agent targets.

Patrick Queen Poised for Huge Contract After Breakout 2023 Season

Patrick Queen

GettyLinebacker Patrick Queen of the Baltimore Ravens.

Queen had a breakout campaign for the Baltimore Ravens in 2023, a contract year for the 24-year-old linebacker.

Queen earned his first Pro-Bowl nod and second-team All-Pro honors on the strength of 133 tackles, 6 pass breakups, 3.5 sacks, 1 interception and a forced fumble, per Pro Football Reference. He has started every game of his four-year career (67 contests) and Pro Football Focus ranked Queen the 25th-best linebacker in the NFL in 2023 out of 83 players who saw enough snaps to qualify at the position.

The Ravens remain alive in the AFC playoff picture and will host the Championship Game on January 28 against either the Buffalo Bills or Kansas City Chiefs. However, once their run is over, Queen will have completed his four-year, $12.2 million rookie contract.

Baltimore declined the $12.7 million fifth-year option on Queen’s contract last offseason, which means the former first-round pick out of LSU will become a free agent in March. Spotrac projects his market value at $92.6 million over a new five-year deal, which equates to roughly $18.5 million annually.

Packers Could Replace De’Vondre Campbell with Patrick Queen, Offset Portion of Salary in 2024

GettyGreen Bay Packers linebacker De’Vondre Campbell.

That kind of contract may be difficult for Green Bay to swing, with currently just under $8 million in available salary cap space. However, the team can clear considerable space by cutting or trading left tackle David Bakhtiari ($21 million in savings) and running back Aaron Jones ($11.3 million in savings with post-June 1 designation) this summer.

Another potential cap casualty is linebacker De’Vondre Campbell. Campbell signed a five-year, $50 million contract in March 2022 following a career year for the Packers the season prior. However, Campbell has dealt with injury issues since inking the deal, missing four games in the 2022 campaign and six contests over the past season.

Campbell’s production has reduced as a result, which could put him in the hot seat this offseason. The Packers can save more than $10.5 million against the cap by cutting or trading Campbell after June 1, and Queen plays the same position at a higher level and with greater surety of health based on his recent track record.

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