Bears head coach Matt Eberflus didn’t wait to be asked about Quinn’s absence, addressing it in his opening statement when meeting with the media after practice on June 14. He did not sound pleased.
“Robert Quinn was not present at mandatory minicamp. We’re not talking about that as an organization. Obviously, we hoped he would be here. He’s not,” Eberflus said, before adding that the team’s general manager, Ryan Poles, would be handling Quinn’s situation moving forward. “Ryan and his staff are going to work through that. I really don’t have any other comment other than that about Robert Quinn.”
When asked if he had spoken to Quinn, Eberflus was quick to reply, but kept it short. “Yeah, I’ve talked to him,” said the Bears coach. “Wished him happy birthday a few weeks ago and we’ve talked to him. In terms of being here, not being here, I’m going to leave that up to Ryan.”
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Bears Insider: Eberflus Seemed ‘Annoyed’ By Quinn’s Absence
“I think we got our first look at an annoyed Eberflus. He was quick to say Poles would be handling Quinn’s situation,” Bears insider Adam Jahns of The Athletic wrote on June 15.
Jahns’ colleague, Kevin Fishbain, who co-wrote the column, noted how important team practices were to the Bears coach.
“After every practice in April and May, Eberflus opened his comments to reporters by thanking the players who were present,” Fishbain added. “He always acknowledged that those practices were voluntary, but it’s clearly important to him and evident he would prefer Quinn be present.”
Quinn, who has yet to show up for any team activities or practices this offseason, attended Chicago’s mandatory minicamp in 2021. Bears’ safety Eddie Jackson revealed he wasn’t surprised by Quinn’s absence, however.
“Not really. It’s Rob,” Jackson said. “He’s been in the league for a while, and I’m pretty sure he has his reasons. We’re just waiting on him to come back. We know he’s going to come back in tip-top.”
According to multiple reports, however, Quinn wants out of Chicago.
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Bears Trading Quinn Is Expected Outcome at This Point
Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reported on May 20 that Quinn wanted to be traded, but many dismissed the idea, as Quinn had said in April that he “didn’t expect to go anywhere, or want to go anywhere.”
But after his absence at mandatory minicamp, which Eberflus confirmed was unexcused, another report, this one from Pro Football Network’s Aaron Wilson, doubled down on the idea Quinn wants out.
“Quinn would prefer a trade rather than sign on for a lengthy rebuild,” Wilson wrote on June 14.
The 32-year-old pass rusher finished with 47 total pressures, four quarterback hits and 25 hurries in 402 pass rush snaps, so his on-field performance should attract some trade partners, but his substantial contract will keep many away. Quinn is due a base salary of $12.8 million in 2022, according to Over the Cap, which is quite high for an aging pass rusher.
Still, with Quinn opting out of mandatory team practices, it’s looking more and more like Poles and company may elect to move on and collect whatever draft capital they can in return.