Steelers Signing Has Delusional Reason for Choosing Pittsburgh

AFC Championship - Kansas City Chiefs v Baltimore Ravens
AFC Championship - Kansas City Chiefs v Baltimore Ravens / Patrick Smith/GettyImages

One thing that often gets left out of free agency conversations is the human side of choosing a team. Fans might like to think team loyalty and money are the biggest draws, but there's so much more to it. Team facilities, culture, and even deciding on what city you're asking your family to live in all play a part.

And then, of course, there's the appeal of going to a team where you can win games. That's a draw fans typically understand (even if it sometimes gets ridiculed as "ring chasing"), and it's one players are typically honest about.

Well if new Pittsburgh Steelers Patrick Queen is being honest, then it really doesn't feel like he's been watching the AFC North lately.

Queen signed a 3-year, $41 million contract with the Pittsburgh Steelers this offseason, paying him about $13.7 million per year. He claims he turned down offers of $17 million to play in Pittsburgh, explaining that he's "just trying to win right now."


For as much as Browns fans don't want to give them credit, the Baltimore Ravens just finished 1st in the AFC North and made the AFC Championship Game last year. They've hit 10-plus wins in five of the last six seasons. Queen was already playing on a team where he had a good shot at winning.

Instead he's downgraded to a team that finished third in the division in each of the last two seasons and has a mess of a quarterback situation.

This isn't just Browns bias talking either. FanDuel Sportsbook gives the Steelers just +650 odds to win the AFC North in 2024 — the worst in the division.

Queen is still the NFL's fourth-highest paid off-ball linebacker, but a $17 million average would have had him much closer to No. 3 (Tremaine Edmunds' $18 million) than he is now. And frankly, his pay warrants that, especially since he's only turning 25 years old in August.

So with that in mind, it's hard to imagine he's lying here. It does seem like the Steelers got a bargain and does seem realistic that someone would have offered him $17 million. Does that mean he really, actually thinks that joining the Steelers puts him in a position to win?

Something doesn't add up here. But if he's delusional enough to think the Steelers can actually win the AFC North this season then he'll fit right in with the fans in Pittsburgh.

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