Chicago Bears edge Robert Quinn has been the subject of trade rumors since training camp, as the remaining three seasons of his five-year, $70 million contract are difficult to integrate with that franchise’s long-term plan to rebuild. But the 32-year-old pass rusher is far from finished.
Garrett ended the 2021 campaign with a total of 16 sacks, good enough for third place across the entire league. Quinn amassed 18.5 sacks last season, slotting him in second place behind T.J. Watt of the Pittsburgh Steelers, who led the NFL in that category with 22.5 sacks, per ESPN.
Now, with Jadeveon Clowney out in Cleveland for the immediate future and several other injuries stacking up along the defensive front, the Browns have an opening to add Quinn and create what would be almost indisputably the most vaunted pass rush in the league.
Quinn Adds Stability to Shaky Browns’ Defense in Clowney’s Absence
The addition of Quinn to Cleveland’s roster could prove crucial, considering the state of the team heading into a Thursday Night Football matchup with the Steelers on September 22.
Two consecutive fourth-quarter collapses by the Browns’ defense almost cost them their Week 1 win over the Carolina Panthers, then resulted in one of the most improbable defeats in NFL history the following weekend when the New York Jets rallied back from 13 down with less than two minutes to play to beat the Browns in Cleveland, 31-30.
Even despite the defense’s late-game woes, that side of the ball has been asked to carry the team, along with running backs Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, as backup quarterback Jacoby Brissett serves as a placeholder over the next nine games for the suspended Deshaun Watson.
A shaky defense in big spots and an offense with real question marks argues for the Browns using some of their $37.1 million in available cap space to absorb Quinn’s contract and turn their pass rush from great into unassailably elite.
Quinn Would Solidify Browns’ Pass Rush For Years to Come
Alex Ballentine of Bleacher Report on Wednesday laid out the immediate argument for bringing Quinn to Cleveland.
Clowney is out for Thursday night’s matchup with an ankle injury already and Garrett is on the injury report with a neck ailment. Depth is always key when it comes to getting after the quarterback.
[Quinn] is on a team that is clearly rebuilding under new general manager Ryan Poles. After trading away Khalil Mack, he’s shown he’s willing to part with veterans. … If the Bears continue to lose, the Browns should be one of the teams that checks in on the 32-year-old’s availability.
Quinn could bridge the gap until Clowney’s return and help alleviate the absence of DE Chase Winovich, who was sent to the injured reserve list this week and will miss the next four games, at least.
What’s more, the Browns would have Quinn under contract for this season plus two more, while Clowney has played each of the last two years on one-year deals and will hit unrestricted free agency again next spring.
Quinn, a three-time Pro Bowler and a second-team All Pro last season, has tallied four tackles and a sack thus far in 2022, per Pro Football Reference.