With the Ravens already paying Smith and Lamar Jackson big money, there probably isn’t much for another outside linebacker like Queen. If the $12.4 million fifth-year option was too rich for next season, anything but a team-friendly deal appears to be an obstacle to Queen’s return.
However, perhaps with another improved season alongside Smith, Queen could hit the jackpot in free agency next season.
Queen said it took time to deal with emotions after the club declined his option, but after speaking with the Ravens front office, he is motivated to have his best season in 2023.
“Just trying to get better,” Queen said. “Of course Roquan is here now and gets a vacation with us. So, just trying to build that chemistry, trying to learn (defensive coordinator) Mike (Macdonald) more, trying to learn the defense more, trying to get on the same page. That’s my main focus right now.”
Smith’s arrival opened up Queen’s game last season, and the Ravens are counting on the duo to have similar results this season. Queen understands that in the long run, his performance on the field will determine his next contract.
“I’m just focusing on right now,” he said. “I think if I take care of my business and do what I’m supposed to do, it all falls into place.”