The Quinn Conundrum, Fields’ Honesty, Crossers, and Other Bears Bullets

If you’re looking for Kenobi spoilers, keep scrolling.

I’m not sharing them here. No way. But if you wanna chat about Ep. V, my DMs are open.

  • When Bears Head Coach Matt Eberflus said GM Ryan Poles and his staff “are going to work through” the Robert Quinn situation (via Kevin Fishbain), I had flashbacks. And not the good kind that make you feel wistful on a hot summer morning. Instead, it had me thinking about Matt Nagy deflecting Allen Robinson II questions to Ryan Pace (and at a time when Pace wasn’t readily available to talk to reporters). Don’t get me wrong. I understand why the coach doesn’t want to talk about a guy who isn’t in camp. And I can’t say I blame him. There are 89 other Bears in camp worth yammering on about during the team’s mandatory three-day minicamp. But I wish there was more clarity surrounding one of the best players on the roster. Until then, the only clarity we’ll get is that (1) Quinn isn’t around and (2) Poles will be the point man handling this situation.
  • And what does it even mean that Poles is handling the Quinn conundrum. Is he actively working the trade market? Or is he simply fielding calls from interested teams with minimal interest in moving a star pass-rusher? Could this all be a ploy from Quinn for more security in terms of contract? Quinn has three years left on his deal that will take him through the 2024 season, so it’s not as if contract length is a high concern. Even though Quinn has no more roster boss money coming this way, he has base salaries of $12.8M, $13.9M, and $12.9M coming to him if he sticks around. Then again, trading Quinn could clear up $12.9M in salary cap space for the Bears (at the cost of $4.2375M in dead money). And a team inheriting Quinn in 2022 could dump him next offseason and clear $9.7625M worth of cap space in the process. In other words, the crux of this thing could be in Quinn wanting more security moving forward — whether it’s with the Bears (or another team).
  • FWIW: The Bears seem equipped to deal with Quinn’s absence short-term. A defensive line without Quinn would feature capable starters such as Trevis Gipson and Al-Quadin Muhammad as pass-rushing defensive ends. Angelo Blackson and Mario Edwards Jr. could serve as rotational players off the end. Eventually, I’d like to have Dominique Robinson in this mix, too. But he is a developmental project, which is worth keeping in mind. I still have my concerns about the middle, even though I think Justin Jones can handle business as that 3-technique defensive tackle. Are we really going to see Mike Pennel, Khyiris Tonga, and LaCale London as top options here?
  • Look at these D-linemen put in work:
  • OK, palate cleanser:
  • OK, fine. I see your caveats. The throw is in a well-manicured video snippet that is as long as a sneeze. And the throw is a wobbly one. Be that as it may, there are two things that stand out to me here. Firstly, it begins with Fields’ arm action looking crisper than it did at the end of last season. It is a small step, but a necessary one as he refines his mechanics. Secondly, the route here is a crosser — something we didn’t see Matt Nagy’s offense utilize often enough in his offense. To me, that is the biggest takeaway from that snapshot. Onward.
  • On the one hand, I appreciate Justin Fields’ honesty in saying that he knows this offense isn’t ready for primetime. But on the other hand, it gives me bubble guts to think about how the offense is (once again) a work in progress. If I had a third hand, I’d wonder how it got there in the first place before using it to point out how we’ve got 88 days before the Bears play a game of consequence. Of course they aren’t ready for action … IT’S JUNE 15. No one is ready to rock and roll at this stage of the game. There are plenty of practices and three preseason games to work things out.
  • To be clear, I’m not overly bothered by this development. Not just because Bears fans are used to a slow-starting offense, but because the players and coaches have been quite clear about this being a work in progress. Does it sting now to read reports that Chicago’s offense is struggling to piece it together? Absolutely. But I’d rather everyone be up front about this situation than go about discussing it in an alternate manner, like when Matt Nagy said Mitchell Trubisky and the offense were ready to go to 200-level courses when they needed to stick around the remedial classes for a while longer.
  • There is plenty of good stuff about the evolution of this offense and how it has a long way to go in the Sun-Times, Tribune, and at NBC Sports Chicago.
  • Alex Shapiro (NBCS Chicago) and Chris Emma (670 The Score) weigh in on the Justin Fields-Darnell Mooney dynamic, as that bromance continues to grow before our own eyes.
  • I’m digging this perspective:
  • I reckon showing up to camp when you could easily force your bosses’ hands by sitting out is one way to build a bridge for a good first impression.
  • More from Bears camp:
  • I’m glad the Bulls aren’t into trading their best players for someone whose fit is uncertain with this team moving forward. Eli has more at BN Bulls:
  • Tab is on prospect watch over at BN Blackhawks:
  • Another cookie!
  • 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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