Source: Ravens decline LB Patrick Queen's 2024 option

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- The Baltimore Ravens made the long-expected move of declining the fifth-year option on inside linebacker Patrick Queen, a source told ESPN on Monday.

Queen, 23, would have received $12.722 million in 2024 under the option. Now, the 28th overall pick in the 2020 draft enters the final year of his rookie contract.

Queen's future with the Ravens became extremely uncertain once the team traded for Roquan Smith six months ago. Baltimore made that move because Queen hadn't lived up to expectations of being the 28th overall pick in 2020. He struggled at times in coverage and missed tackles. During the offseason, Queen scrubbed the Ravens from his social media accounts.

On Friday, the Ravens used their third-round pick on Clemson's Trenton Simpson, who plays the same position as Queen. Eight minutes after that pick was made, Queen tweeted, "Sheesh."

Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta declined to address Queen's status during the draft, saying, "We love Patrick [Queen]; I love Patrick. Patrick is, in my mind, one of the better [weakside] linebackers in the league. He's smart, he works his butt off, he has a bright future. I think he's a Pro Bowl linebacker in the making. In Trenton, we get a guy that was honestly the very best player available at the time."

Three years ago, Queen became the third middle linebacker to get drafted by the Ravens in the first round, joining Ray Lewis and C.J. Mosley -- who combined for 18 Pro Bowls. After Queen was selected by Baltimore, quarterback Lamar Jackson dubbed him "Ray Lewis Jr."

Even though he failed to reach those heights, Queen was productive and put together his best season last year, when he teamed with Smith on the inside. He is one of three players with at least 300 tackles, 10 sacks and 3 interceptions since 2020. The others were Smith and Bobby Wagner.