There has been a sense of inevitability surrounding a possible Robert Quinn trade from the Bears. And yet, nothing has happened. To be sure, there were reports that teams were “sniffing around” a potential Quinn trade before the NFL Draft. But nothing came of it *and* the Bears did their best to squash those rumors for the time being.
But they aren’t going away.
In fact, a new wave of rumors has come crashing in (via Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports): “I continue to hear that Quinn wants out of Chicago – and who could blame him? – and there are a host of interested teams. Bears brass has told everyone he ain’t going anywhere, but they will keep asking and that’s not lost on the veteran defensive end.”
There’s an important distinction to make between a team actively shopping a player and a player actively seeking a trade. According to this report, the Bears are not shopping Quinn. Quinn is just making it known that he wants out. And after seeing the Bears go through an offseason teardown, I can understand why — Quinn is on the older side of the aging curve and is likely prioritizing wins at this point in his career.
Keep in mind that he signed with Chicago when the Bears looked to be in a competitive window. But as he enters Year 3 of that contract, that window is shut. On top of that, the guys who were running the show when he signed aren’t even in charge any more. A change of heart is pretty reasonable.
However, the Bears are making it known that they aren’t even planning on dealing Quinn. And you might understand why. Even setting aside the possibility of playing for leverage, Quinn did just set the franchise’s single-season sack mark, has a base salary of just $12.8 million, and could net the Bears a major return at the trade deadline. Keeping him (for now) isn’t out of the question. However, I could also make the argument that given (1) his age, (2) the rest of the moves the Bears have made this offseason, and (3) the fact that he is probably at peak value precisely because he is coming off a monster season makes a trade right now worth it from the Bears’ perspective, too. Teams might become more desperate at the deadline, or they might not. Quinn could continue to play like a star, or he could get hurt. There’s not no risk in waiting, even if I do appreciate the alternative.
Interestingly, LaCanfora seems to believe the Bears could get more than what the Broncos were given by the Rams in the Von Miller trade. Remember, L.A. sent a second-round pick (64th overall) and a third-rounder (96th overall) to get Miller. And for what it’s worth, the Broncos turned that third-round pick into a 2022 fifth-rounder and a 2023 third-round choice from the Colts. In other words, that Miller deal paid off (and then some!)
So logically, this all makes sense. In other words, we can understand why Quinn might want out and why the Bears might even be willing to accommodate that request. The question, then, isn’t IF Quinn will be traded, it’s really WHEN?
Michael Cerami contributed to this post.