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The Bears Are Restructuring Robert Quinn’s Contract to Create $3.5M in Cap Space

Chicago Bears

The Chicago Bears’ salary cap issues have been well-documented in recent years. And while they’re not in salary cap hell, the team has been playing with fire and pushing up against it in an attempt to keep its competitive window wedged open. So, while they’ve made the playoffs in two of the last three years, borrowing from the future to finance teams that are one game over .500 since the start of the 2019 season has been chewing into future cap flexibility.

And that practice is being used again:

NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport reports the Bears have restructured Robert Quinn’s contract. The moves creates $3,512,500 in salary cap space. For what it’s worth, that brings Chicago’s available cap space for this season to $4.3125 million. It isn’t an insignificant move to create cap space. But it’s one that is a bit curious, and begs the question … Why?

Maybe an extension is coming for a player already on the roster. Perhaps the team is clearing room in case it wants to make a deal ahead of the Nov. 2 trade deadline. Could it be possible the front office is angling to roll over this newfound cap space into next year? Whatever it is, the move makes it more difficult to create cap room next offseason by parting ways with Quinn. Had they not put together a re-structure, a traditional cut of Quinn next offseason would’ve created $6.7 million in cap gain, per OverTheCap.com’s estimations. It would’ve come with a $9.3 million dead-money hit. And a post-June 1 cut would’ve eaten into that dead-money hit ($3.1M) and created a larger cap gain $12.9M). But that’s out the window now.

For what it’s worth, at least Quinn is playing like someone worth rostering in 2022. Quinn is off to a baller start in 2021 with 4.5 sacks, 3 tackles-for-loss, and 6 quarterback hits in five games. Or to put it with some different perspective, that’s more sacks and TFLs than he had in 15 games last year, and as many QB Hits as he had in his first season with the Bears.

But, once again, the Bears are cutting into spending space that could be put toward building around quarterback Justin Fields while on his rookie deal. Unfortunately, that becomes increasingly more difficult with every re-structure. (Michael: Plus, the GM doing sacrificing some of the future is not one guaranteed to be there to deal with the consequences)

In other words: OMG, stop doing this!



Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.