The release of the new “Madden” cover athlete every summer is a joyous day on the football calendar, for players and fans alike.
For Ravens linebacker Patrick Queen, it was one to forget.
On Wednesday, EA Sports announced that Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen will grace the cover of “Madden NFL 24″ when it’s released Aug. 18, joining Tom Brady, Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson as stars to receive the honor in recent years. At the end of a roughly one-minute video teasing the new gameplay and highlighting some of the league’s biggest stars, Allen bulldozes his way for a touchdown against the Ravens, punctuated by an emphatic stiff-arm of Queen.
Needless to say, it didn’t sit well with the Ravens’ fourth-year linebacker.
“How i get signed up to be the one ran over on the release video,” Queen tweeted with a laughing emoji.
Queen, a 2020 first-round draft pick who is set to become a free agent next offseason after the Ravens declined the fifth-year option on his rookie contract, quickly pointed out that when he last met Allen on the field, he flipped the two-time Pro Bowl quarterback head over heels. Queen finished with five tackles (one for loss) and three quarterback hits in that Week 4 matchup, though Allen threw for 213 yards and a touchdown and rushed for 70 yards and a score in Buffalo’s 23-20 comeback victory at M&T Bank Stadium.
“Come correct next time,” Queen tweeted at EA Sports’ “Madden” account with a video of the tackle.
Perhaps the slight will serve as extra motivation for Queen as he enters a pivotal season. Although the 23-year-old has steadily improved each year — culminating in career highs in tackles (117), sacks (five), quarterback hits (14), interceptions (two) and passes defended (six) in 2022 — the Ravens did not commit to paying him $12.7 million in 2024, leaving the door open for the starting linebacker to leave in free agency.
Queen said at last week’s voluntary workout that he wants to remain in Baltimore, but the team’s move could be a “blessing in disguise” for his career if he meets expectations and delivers a standout season. There are still a few more weeks until padded practices begin when training camp opens in late July and two more months before the preseason opener Aug. 12 against the Philadelphia Eagles, so Queen will have to wait a little longer before proving himself on the field. For now, he can deal with his frustrations with one of his favorite hobbies.
“Man I woke up with good energy too,” Queen tweeted. “Was gone go fish, release . Now they gotta see the oven”