Does the Bears Offseason Line Up with a Draft-Weekend Trade of Robert Quinn?

A year ago at this time, the idea of dealing to get out of Robert Quinn’s contract would’ve been a dream.

Quinn was coming off a downer year in 2021. One in which he made little to no impact. He came up with just 2 sacks, 6 quarterback hits, and 0 tackles-for-loss in 15 games. But one year later, Quinn had one of the greatest bounce-back campaigns of all-time. Quinn’s 18.5 sacks set a Bears franchise record. His 17 tackles-for-loss were his most since 2013, when the Rams were in St. Louis and his 23 TFLs were a league-most. The 22 quarterback hits were tied for his second most in a single season of his 11-year career.

Part of me would love to see what Quinn can do for an encore after a record-breaking sack season. But Bleacher Report’s Ian Wharton pieces together a hypothetical trade that piques my interest.

And if a new-look front office wanted to apply the ECON 101 principle of buy low-sell high, then this might be the time to do it.

Wharton’s hypothetical boils down to this: He pairs the Bears and Chiefs as trade partners in a deal that sends Quinn to Kansas City and the Chiefs’ 94th overall selection to Chicago.

To be clear, Wharton isn’t saying that this is on the cusp of going down or even in the works. Instead, Wharton does some easy dot-connecting to get our mind in the right place. To be fair, it isn’t all that difficult of an exercise. Find a team in the midst of re-shaping its roster that has a high-salary player with value (hi Bears!), go through a list of contenders that could use a splash addition now that free agency waters have calmed (sup, Chiefs?), and let the magic happen after playing matchmaker.

You’d think trading Khalil Mack would’ve put this fire out long ago. Instead, that deal opens our eyes to any number possibilities. In short, if Mack — an all-world defender, when healthy — can go, then there are no untouchables. If it isn’t bolted down at Halas Hall, it could be moved at the right price. Especially on defense. And particularly along a defensive line where so much is fluid.

How the Bears have gone about rebuilding the defensive line suggests there is still movement to come. Because even after nixing the Larry Ogunjobi deal, Chicago still went on to add DT Justin Jones and DE Al-Quadin Muhammad. And the team still hasn’t ruled out re-visiting an Ogunjobi signing, albeit with different terms than what was agreed upon in early March. Throw in Trevis Gipson – whose 87.0 pass-rush grade in 2021 was the 10th best in football per Pro Football Focus’ grading scale – and suddenly we’re discussing the Bears trading from a position of strength. Thus, making a Quinn trade far more palatable than it might otherwise be.

In the end, Wharton’s hypothetical is something the Bears should be looking to replicate. And it might even be something that is already on this team’s radar.

Judging on how this front office has been approaching things, a Quinn deal feels less about “if” they’ll do it and more like “at what price” will they execute a trade. GM Ryan Poles has made it clear he wants to add picks. More than that, he has already shown a willingness to cut a deal to do that (even at the expense of moving a popular and productive player). But as was the case with the Mack deal, Poles should only do business for the right return. Otherwise, the Bears could follow the Broncos blueprint from last season. Trying to recreate Rams-Broncos Von Miller deal from the deadline last year won’t be easy. But it could be delicious if everything fell into place.

All in all, Wharton has given us something to think about. Hopefully, this front office has the foresight to be ready in case the right opportunity presents itself.

written by

Luis C. Medina, who you can find on Twitter at lcm1986, has been covering the Chicago Bears at Bleacher Nation since 2017. Since then, he has written about 3 head coaches, 5 play-callers, and 11 starting quarterbacks. Previously, Luis wrote about the Cubs and MLB at BN (2015-16) and worked in the Chicago Tribune sports department (2011-16). He also co-hosted a Cubs postgame show, Outside the Ivy, in 2019.

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