The Baltimore Ravens are coming off a strong season as they finished the regular season as the AFC’s No. 1 seed with a 13-4 record. The Ravens’ defense was one of the best units in the league with defensive lineman Justin Madubuike and linebacker Patrick Queen both having stellar, Pro Bowl seasons.
But as is the case every offseason, personnel changes, and both Madubuike and Queen are free agents and are expected to fetch a hefty salary. Madubuike had a career-best season as he led Baltimore in sacks (13.0), quarterback hits (33), and tackles for loss (12) and has a market value of $20.3 million APY. As for Queen, he and Roquan Smith formed a devastating tandem at linebacker and his market value is a cool $18.5 APY per spotrac.com.
That is a lot of money tied up in two players but Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta says that the team has a plan for the defensive duo as free agency approaches. “We’ll have all those decisions, I think made at some point coming soon, we don’t have a lot of time,” DeCosta said. “But we’ll have those decisions made in the coming weeks we’ll know what’s best for us to do, it’s something that we just haven’t just started thinking about it obviously. It’s something we’ve been thinking about I think Justin had a great year as did Patrick Queen, those two guys obviously you know Pro Bowlers great seasons, and we’ll have a good plan in place for those guys.”
With a host of changes already taking place as defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald is now the Seattle Seahawks head coach and defensive assistant Anthony Weaver named Miami Dolphins defensive coordinator, the roster could also see a significant shake-up. In total, 23 players are unrestricted free agents this offseason, so head coach John Harbaugh and DeCosta will have to comb through the list and figure out who can and can’t fit into the salary cap.
Madubuike stated that he wants to remain in Baltimore but “business is business” and Queen solidifying himself as one of the premier linebackers in football, the Ravens have some decisions to make.
It is hoped that both will return in 2024 and be key members of the Ravens defense that was a nightmare for opposing offenses last season
And if there is any fear from Ravens fans about the current situation with Madubuike and Queen, DeCosta has a “good” plan to potentially retain both.