New Trade Partner Emerges for Bears’ Defender: He ‘Knows He’s Not Part’ of Future

Robert Quinn

Getty Robert Quinn led the Bears defense with 18.5 sacks in 2021.

The trade window is still wide open for all 32 NFL teams, and one name that keeps getting mentioned as a possibility to be moved is Chicago Bears pass rusher Robert Quinn.

Quinn finished second in the NFL in sacks last year with 18.5, and his 17 tackles-for-loss ranked fifth in the league. The 32-year-old Quinn has the heftiest contract of any player on Chicago’s roster, with a cap hit of over $17 million and a base salary of $12.8 million, per Over the Cap.

With Chicago’s veterans reporting to training camp on July 26, all eyes will be on Quinn, who was a no-show during the team’s mandatory veteran minicamp in mid-June. Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reported in May that Quinn wanted out of Chicago, and Pro Football Network’s Aaron Wilson seconded that report a month later. Now, one top Bears insider says Quinn knows he’s not part of the team’s future, while another analyst has named a new potential trade partner for the aging pass rusher.

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Raiders Floated as New Trade Partner for Quinn

Bears’ first-year general manager Ryan Poles made the lone big move of his tenure so far not by acquiring a player, but by trading one. When Poles shipped All-Pro defender Khalil Mack off to the Los Angeles Chargers in March for multiple draft picks, his agenda became a bit more clear: get younger while also shedding big contracts.

Thus, it seems likely Quinn could still be traded at any point before the deadline on November 1. Kristopher Knox of Bleacher Report thinks Poles might be able to ship Quinn to another AFC West contender in a trade proposal that’s “logical for all parties involved.”

Knox suggested that the Las Vegas Raiders could stand to benefit from a pass rusher of Quinn’s ilk to put alongside Chandler Jones and Maxx Crosby. Adding Quinn would “give Las Vegas a top-notch pass-rushing tandem at the top of its depth chart,” Knox wrote on July 21. “The problem is that the Raiders don’t have a reliable third member of the pass-rushing rotation. 2019 fourth overall pick Clelin Ferrell continues to have more potential than production.”

Knox thinks the Raiders would be willing to send a 2023 second-round pick to Chicago in exchange for Quinn, which seems a tad high, but anything is possible. Knox doesn’t believe Quinn’s salary would be much of a hurdle for the Raiders, either.

“While a trade might not be cheap, Quinn’s 2022 base salary of $12.8 million would be doable for Las Vegas, which has $20.2 million in cap space,” Knox noted, adding: “The Raiders could further establish themselves as AFC contenders while the Bears snap up a valuable piece of capital for their ongoing rebuild.”

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Quinn ‘Knows’ He’s Not Part of Chicago’s Future

If Poles and the Bears could manage to get a pick in Round 2 for Quinn, it would be a surprise, as it seems if there were a trade market for him, he would’ve been dealt already. Quinn has never won a Super Bowl, so it’s also possible he might be pushing to go to a contender.

Bears insider Jeff Hughes of Da Bears Blog has been told by a source that the primary concern for Poles and the team’s new regime is players not buying in — and Quinn’s name was mentioned as someone who knows he’s not part of the team’s future plans.

Here’s what Hughes’ source said:

The fear is everyone not buying into ‘the project’ and that usually means older guys. Robert Quinn knows he’s not part of the long-term there and that’s why you’re hearing rumblings about him wanting out. Locker rooms can get away from you fast. The best course is just clearing out as many guys as you can when you arrive. You want a roster in that first year where all 53 think they are on the ground floor; that THEY are building something. Poles has done that pretty well. You get a young, hungry team that believes in their coaches and what they’re doing, you’ll end up winning more games than you expect.

Considering Quinn’s age, contract and lack of Super Bowl ring, a trade to a contender seems eminent. We’ll see what happens when training camp rolls around, because what Quinn does will be very telling.

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