The Chicago Bears are moving more money to the future.
The Bears restructured the contract of veteran pass rusher Robert Quinn, NFL insider Ian Rapoport tweeted on October 15. The move creates $3,512,500 in cap space for Chicago now, while moving over $30 million to future caps.
Rapoport noted that the Bears had $800,000 in cap space before the move, although Spotrac currently says they have just over $1 million. Either way, they just added $3.5 million to it, which would make their current cap space fall in the $4.3-$4.5 million range. The Bears also moved more money into the future when they converted $5.825 million of veteran tight end Jimmy Graham’s salary into a signing bonus in early September.
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What Does the Restructure Mean for Quinn’s Future in Chicago?
Quinn was slated to carry a $16 million cap hit in 2022, and now, that number will go up, as will his dead cap hit. While the restructure doesn’t mean he’s a lock to be on the roster again next year, it does increase his chances quite a bit, as it’ll now cost Chicago $3.5 million more if they want to cut him next year.
Per PFF’s salary cap analyst Brad Spielberger, Chicago added a void year to Quinn’s contract and converted over $4 million of his salary into a bonus.
The restructure also gives the Bears a bit of a security blanket should they need to add a player or make a roster move.
With Quinn’s hot start so far this season, though, the odds he’ll be back again next year are fairly high.
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Quinn’s Play So Far This Season Has Been Excellent
After a disappointing first year in Chicago that saw him register 20 total tackles, 2.0 sacks and six quarterback hits, Quinn already has 4.5 sacks, six QB hits and 15 total tackles through five games this season, three of which have been for loss. He didn’t have a single tackle for loss at all in 2020.
Quinn has been doing a far better job getting into the backfield to harass opposing QBs, netting nine QB hurries and 15 pressures through Week 5, per PFF. His resurgence has also helped linebacker Khalil Mack, who is currently fifth in the NFL in sacks, with five. Mack also has 12 QB hurries and 17 pressures, and he and Quinn are a huge reason why Chicago leads the NFL in sacks with 18.
Quinn has also been a leader in the locker room for Chicago.
“Real down to earth in the way he plays, coming to work every day, guy never complains, don’t say much, but always himself and busts his tail,” Bears linebacker Roquan Smith said about Quinn on October 3. “I’ve got a lot of respect for that guy and am trying to learn everything I can from him.”
If Quinn stays healthy and keeps playing at this rate, his spot on Chicago’s roster next season will be all but guaranteed, particularly after the restructure.