LB Patrick Queen agrees to 3-year, $41M deal with Steelers

McAfee: Steelers fans are going to 'love' Patrick Queen (2:22)

Pat McAfee explains why Patrick Queen's physical style of play fits well with Mike Tomlin's defense in Pittsburgh. (2:22)

Free agent linebacker Patrick Queen told ESPN's Marcus Spears on Tuesday that he plans to sign a three-year, $41 million contract with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Queen is considered the top inside linebacker available via free agency, going from an underachiever early in his career to a defensive force the past two seasons. His future in Baltimore became uncertain once the Ravens traded for Roquan Smith in October 2022.

Last season, Queen produced a career-high 133 tackles, which ranked second on a Ravens defense that led the NFL in fewest points allowed (16.5). He was named second-team All-Pro and went to his first Pro Bowl.

Queen's history with the Steelers has been a fiery one. Last October, Queen shared a story about a confrontation with Steelers coach Mike Tomlin in 2020.

"When I was on their sideline, my rookie year, [Steelers head coach] Mike Tomlin was looking at me [and] yelling at me, [saying] 'You're not a Raven. You're not a Raven. You're not supposed to be there. You're not one of them,'" Queen said last year. "So every time I play them, it's something personal."

Queen acknowledged that exchange with Tomlin has stuck with him.

"I don't care if he was joking. I don't care if he was serious," Queen said last October. "At the end of the day, I'm on your sideline, and you're telling me I'm not a Raven. It's kind of disrespectful."

A first-round pick in 2020, Queen is one of three Ravens players to record three seasons with at least 100 tackles and at least one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. The others were Hall of Fame linebacker Ray Lewis and five-time Pro Bowl linebacker C.J. Mosley.

Queen, 24, struggled in his first two seasons, missing 35 tackles and making mistakes in coverage. But his production increased after Baltimore acquired Smith, which allowed Queen to move from the middle to the weak side.

In 67 games, Queen has totaled 454 tackles, 37 tackles for loss, 13.5 sacks, 5 forced fumbles, 6 fumble recoveries and 4 interceptions. The Ravens are expected to replace Queen with Trenton Simpson, who was drafted in the third round last year.

ESPN's Jamison Hensley contributed to this report.