CBS Sports predicts Commanders to land Ravens star LB Patrick Queen

The Washington Commanders have a significant need at linebacker. Under former head coach Ron Rivera, the franchise often avoided spending any significant assets at linebacker outside of picking Jamin Davis in the first round of the 2021 NFL draft.

That’s not going to happen under new GM Adam Peters and head coach Dan Quinn.

With Davis penciled in at outside linebacker, the Commanders badly need a true inside linebacker. The good news for Washington is that there are some options in free agency. Patrick Queen is the top option. Devin White, a former top-five draft pick coming off a down season, is also an option. There is the ageless Bobby Wagner, who has ties to Dan Quinn and linebackers coach Ken Norton Jr.

There are others, too.

How much money does Peters want to commit to filling this position?

Garrett Podell of CBS Sports recently previewed Queen’s free agency, looking at four legitimate options for him, three of which were NFC East teams.

Here’s what Podell said about Washington:

Washington possesses $91.5 million in cap space this offseason, the most in the entire league according to New head coach Dan Quinn presided over a defensive transformation of the Dallas Cowboys defense as their defensive coordinator that led to two corners, Trevon Diggs and DaRon Bland, leading the NFL in interceptions and earning All-Pro nods in his three seasons down in Texas. However, Quinn certainly realized the importance of having a strong inside linebacker to negate a team’s run game after the way Aaron Jones brutalized his defense in the NFC wild-card round.

The Commanders have significant needs on defense since they profiled as the lowest-ranked team in scoring defense (30.5 points per game), total defense (388.9 total yards per game), passing touchdowns (39) and passer rating (105.7). Queen wouldn’t have to move very far in relocating closer to the nation’s capital.

Those are compelling reasons for the Commanders to spend the required $20 million or more annually to sign Queen. He’s young (Queen doesn’t turn 25 until August) and has improved in each of his past two seasons. Queen is an ascending player who could be a defensive linchpin in Washington for years to come.

So, who does Podell see Queen signing with?

The Commanders.

Queen takes the money and runs down the road to the Commanders to play for Quinn. Many of his Cowboys players lauded their professional and personal growth with Quinn calling defensive plays, which is a legitimate draw for free agents also looking to get paid. Queen is the first of many dominoes set to fall in Washington’s rebuild under a new regime this offseason.

Queen would thrive in Quinn’s and defensive coordinator Joe Whitt’s defense. If Washington splurged to sign Queen, it would be a smart move. His age, production and ceiling are in line with what Peters envisions using free agency for.

Story originally appeared on Commanders Wire