Robert Quinn Expects To Stay With The Bears

If a player skips a mandatory minicamp, it tends to raise eyebrows. More still when they miss the entirety of the offseason program. And perhaps even more still when that player is a twelfth-year veteran on a team who are looking toward a rebuilding season and the future. However, Chicago Bears linebacker Robert Quinn reckons he’s going nowhere, explaining to ESPN that “I expect to be here, but I guess if not, well, that’s out of my control. I’m just going to take it day by day and have fun here with the guys and just let life take its course.”

 

 

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A change of Pace?

Recent speculation linking the Bears defensive end with a move to the Atlanta Falcons, and a reunion with ex-Bears GM Ryan Pace (and former teammates Nick Kwiatkowski and Cordarrelle Patterson) may be putting two and two together and making six. On the face of it, being traded would make sense for the player. Quinn is 32 years old, doesn’t have a Super Bowl ring, and likely doesn’t have long left to get one.

The Falcons might improve on their 7-10 record in 2021, but Tom Brady’s reneging on retirement at Tampa Bay suggests they won’t top their division, let alone be among the runners and riders for the Vince Lombardi Trophy. The Kansas City Chiefs – who will be in the championship hunt – have also been linked, but as Quinn pointed out, a trade isn’t his decision to make.

With the pick return for Quinn likely to be less than the Bears recouped for sending Khalil Mack to the L.A. Chargers, it could be new Chicago GM Ryan Poles decides that Quinn’s experience and leadership are important right now in a team with a lot of new faces and youngsters.

2021

Last season, life at Soldier Field wasn’t a pick-a-nick basket for Bears, particularly for quarterbacks Andy Dalton (who started the season) and Justin Fields (who concluded it and will be the starter going forward). The Bears gave up a league-worst 58 QB sacks for the season, with Fields being taken out 9 times in a torrid debut against the Cleveland Browns. The Bears managed a paltry 47 yards of offense in that game; their worst outing in 40 years. The now ex-head coach Matt Nagy was moved to comment “You almost can’t even make it up. It’s that bad”. Still, if there were bright spots in a sorry campaign, they were in defense. Quinn himself racked up 18.5 sacks in only 16 games – second in the league only to the Steelers’ TJ Watt who managed 22 and tied Michael Strahan’s two-decades standing NFL season record. We’ve been quietly impressed with the continuing progress of inside linebacker Roquan Smith. Young cornerback Jaylon Johnson posted up notice that he should be a big contributor moving forward with a strong sophomore season.

2022

With a new GM in Poles, new HC in Matt Eberflus and loss of star players like Mack, Bilal Nichols and Allen Robinson, 2022 was always going to be a rebuild year for the Bears. Still, at time of writing, even equaling their 6-11 record from 2021 looks a daunting task. The Bears may have $30m of cap space to play with, but many positions need to be manned, let alone upgraded. The analysts at Pro Football Focus have Chicago ranked 31st out of 32 NFL teams with only the Seattle Seahawks projected to be worse. The pricesetters still have a bit of faith – the latest Coral odds see Chicago still expected to finish third in the NFC North. This may be hope against hope, as while Detroit went 3-13-1 in 2021, the Lions have a good offensive line and an experienced, if workmanlike, QB in Jared Goff. They’ve also taken steps to address their porous defense, drafting Aidan Hutchinson, Josh Paschal and Kerby Joseph this April.

It may be that if Chicago fare as the form book suggests in the first half of the season they’ll look to move Quinn on prior to the trade deadline on November 1st – he stands to earn $13.9m in the 2023 season and that could be reinvested into younger players. However, with their first 8 fixtures including ties against fellow strugglers Houston and both New York sides, it could be that Quinn shines some bright light into the autumnal city. Will we see the Bears playing football in January? No. Will we see Robert Quinn still on the Bears roster in January? He expects so.