The Philadelphia Eagles could “fix” one of their weak spots with one of the top defensive playmakers in the NFL.
As proposed by Yahoo Sports’ Tyler Greenwalt, the Eagles could be an ideal trade destination for Baltimore Ravens linebacker Patrick Queen. Greenwalt argues that while Philadelphia isn’t lacking in too many areas, a quality linebacker such as Queen could help shore up the defensive unit.
“The Eagles set themselves up nicely by shoring up their defensive line and pass rush in the first round and don’t have too many needs coming out of the draft,” writes Greenwalt. “That doesn’t mean Philadelphia is perfect, though. While a third pass-catching option would be nice, another quality linebacker is more important to lock down the defense.”
Why Ravens Could Trade LB Patrick Queen
Queen has established himself as one of the top young linebackers in the NFL since being selected in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft. Over the course of two of his first three seasons, Queen has racked up over 100 tackles. The 23-year-old has led Baltimore in tackles in each of his first three seasons in the league.
According to Pro Football Focus, Queen posted a 70.0 defensive grade last season, ranking 33rd among all linebackers (with at least 100 snaps).
Despite Queen’s production early on in his career, his future with the Ravens remains uncertain. After passing on the fifth-year option of his rookie contract, Baltimore GM Eric DeCosta stresses that the Ravens want to retain Queen.
“We want Patrick Queen on this team; we want to keep him on this team,” said DeCosta. “We will, at some point, try to get him signed, hopefully, to an extension if we can.”
DeCosta explained that declining Queen’s fifth-year option had more to do with business than Queen’s actual performance.
“The fifth-year option was something that was more based on business and the salary-cap economics than actually Patrick Queen and his performance and what he does as a player,” DeCosta said. “He’s a difference-maker for us. When we had Patrick Queen and Roquan Smith last year over the last half of the season, we had a chance to see how dominant our defense could be.”
Eagles Are Lacking in Proven Linebackers Outside of Haason Reddick
If there’s one spot of the defensive unit that could be considered a weakness, it’s at linebacker. While the Eagles obviously possess one of the elite pass-rushing linebackers in the league in Haason Reddick, the other projected starting linebackers — Nakobe Dean and Nicholas Morrow — don’t exactly instill fear in opposing offensive players.
Dean is a formerly highly touted college linebacker, having won a National Championship along while being named a Unanimous All-American at the University of Georgia during the 2021 season. However, he played sparsely during his rookie campaign with the Eagles last season, posting just 13 tackles while appearing in 34 defensive snaps. He saw the vast majority of his playing time on special teams, appearing in 340 special teams snaps, or 75% of the unit’s snaps.
Meanwhile, Morrow is a free agent addition, having signed a one-year, $1.59 million deal with the Eagles. The 27-year-old led the Chicago Bears with 116 tackles last season. However, his near veteran’s minimum deal combined with the short length indicates that he’s likely more of a short-term option than anything else.
If the Ravens can’t work out a new deal with Queen, it could make sense to flip him in a trade with an NFC foe such as the Eagles. It likely wouldn’t cost Philadelphia more than a third-round draft selection tacked on with another draft pick to acquire Queen in a possible trade scenario.