The Robert Quinn signing came with great expectations. I’ll admit the idea of teaming Quinn with Khalil Mack and Akiem Hicks was dreamy. But the results, to this point, have been nightmarish from a Bears perspective.
Quinn has just one sack this season. And it came on his first snap of the year. That means he has no sacks in 447 snaps since. In 12 games, Quinn has just 1 sack, 14 total tackles, 3 quarterback hits, and 2 forced fumbles. That’s not the type of production you back up the truck for in the offseason. Especially when salary cap capital is as valuable as it is to a team that’s already up against it.
So … what happened?
“One source said in early September that the two-time Pro Bowl performer had a nerve issue affecting a foot. Another source said Quinn told teammates he was battling drop foot, which is defined as difficulty in raising the front part of the foot and can be caused by a nerve issue.”
If you’ll recall, Quinn had a slow start to his time with the Bears. There were moments in training camp when he wasn’t participating in drills. But Head Coach Matt Nagy chalked it up to personal issues that slowed Quinn down during the team’s ramp-up period. But even when the year started, Quinn was on the first injury report of 2020 because of an ankle issue and was inactive for Week 1. It’s the only game Quinn has missed to this point, but his on-field production hasn’t lived up to the hype to this point.
The early returns on the Quinn signing aren’t a good look for GM Ryan Pace, who chose to splurge on bolstering the pass-rush when needs along the offensive line and at quarterback took a back seat. Moreover, the Quinn signing doesn’t provide the Bears an easy escape. Cutting Quinn in 2021 would come with a $23.9 million dead money hit and a projected cap loss of $9.2 million. In other words, there is no early termination option that helps Chicago. So if you’re looking for that possibility, then look toward 2022, when Chicago can cut Quinn in a move that comes with an estimated gain of $6.7 million in cap space at the cost of a $9.3 million dead money hit.
But there are 19 games between now and when that happens. Or to put it another way, there is still plenty of time for Quinn to bounce back and show that he can be the player who can live up to lofty expectations. But I suppose he’ll need to get healthy before that possibility can become a reality.