Maybe it’s just me, but I’m really looking forward to turning the calendar to July.
And it’s not just because my birthday kicks off the month.
OK, that’s some of it. But not all of it, I swear. I’m not *THAT* selfish.
July ends with the Bears reporting to Halas Hall for training camp. And with the first open practice just 34 days away, we have storylines to look forward to at Camp Eberflus. At the top of our watch list is if we learn about Robert Quinn’s deal. If you’ll recall, Quinn didn’t show up to mandatory minicamp. And while Chicago is well-positioned with depth, Quinn is a difference-maker we wish someone like Trevis Gipson grows to become.
But I’m curious if Gipson and Quinn will be working as teammates or if Gipson will be taking Quinn’s snaps.
For what it’s worth, The Athletic’s Kevin Fishbain hints Quinn will be elsewhere by the time Week 1 kicks off in Chicago:
“After Quinn’s absence from mandatory veteran minicamp, it’s tough to feel confident he’s going to be on the roster at the start of the season. We saw how (Bears GM Ryan) Poles went about overhauling the roster in March. If he and (Bears Head Coach Matt) Eberflus didn’t want Quinn to be part of this, he would have been moved. But Quinn missing minicamp allows for speculation that he might not want to be the veteran on a team in transition.”
In creating a projection for a 53-player roster in Week 1, Fishbain leaves Quinn off the defensive end depth chart. That is a notable omission from a long-time Bears beat reporter. This bears considering, especially since Quinn’s non-participation at veteran minicamp opens the door to the possibility that he might want out. Remember, there was reporting earlier in the offseason that Quinn wanted out. There was also some stuff about teams “sniffing around” a possible Quinn trade. That’s ample amount of smoke, even though the fire hasn’t been visible to this point.
Fortunately, the Bears are at a stage when they should be open to all sorts of options, as they could use the picks and cap space, but really can’t afford to be dealing with that type of distraction.
Indeed, the Bears should be open to moving veteran players who aren’t all-in on their rebuild. I don’t want to play the “if you’re not with me, then you’re against me” card. That thing works only if you’re Anakin Skywalker on Mustafar (And it’s void if you don’t have the high ground). But it’s tough to sell a rebuild if everyone isn’t on the same page. And it’s doubly difficult when one of your most notable players isn’t hip to it.
Productive rebuilds are rooted in an all-in mentality that encourages everyone pulling from the same rope. If Quinn doesn’t want to be part of it, the Bears should satisfy that request. Not necessarily because it was made, but because it could be just as beneficial for the team as it is for the player.
Whatever the case is, the Quinn conundrum remains at top of mind.