Here’s another very intriguing option, one that forces the Bucs to beg the question of how valuable Devin White is to the defense.
Patrick Queen saw himself essentially get boxed out in Baltimore and is entering a contract year without a clear destination for 2024. The Ravens basically replaced him mid season last year with Roquan Smith, giving him a contract extension that pretty much set the market for what the Bucs will need to pay White if they want to keep him.
Let’s assume White has a decent year and is justifiably in line for a $100 million contract. The Bucs aren’t going to pay him that when they already need to budget an extension for Antoine Winfield Jr., a player who is more important to the defense than White.
Queen is far from a bust, or the type of player you’d think a team would pass on picking up the fifth year option on. He’s one of three players with at least 300 tackles, 10 sacks and three interceptions since 2020 — one of which is Smith and the other being Bobby Wagner. That’s pretty decent company to keep, and is reflective of the type of potential Queen has moving forward.
It’s almost a certainty that he won’t be back in Baltimore, especially if he balls out this season. After the Ravens paid Lamar Jackson, the team is going to need to pinch pennies for the next few years (which is why extending Smith when they did was so smart).
That’s even more evidence that Queen will be looking for a new home next winter, and the Buccaneers could be a perfect fit. What will get really interesting is if the Bucs are in a position to choose between Queen and White, and choose the former.
Tampa Bay will be careful not to break the bank on any single player, but they’ll have a card up their sleeve next offseason and could play it on bringing in Queen to help anchor Todd Bowles defense for years to come.