ESPN Survey of NFL Execs, Coaches, and Scouts May Help Explain Why Robert Quinn Is Still a Bear

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ESPN Survey of NFL Execs, Coaches, and Scouts May Help Explain Why Robert Quinn Is Still a Bear

Chicago Bears

There is no denying Robert Quinn’s awesomeness.

On the field, Quinn is coming off setting the Bears’ single-season sack record. It is only the latest stellar season on Quinn’s résumé, which now features five years with double-digit sacks. And he has done that in two of his last three years. Off the field, Quinn is a respected locker room leader who was the recipient of this year’s Brian Piccolo Award.

You’d think that Quinn’s overall excellence would command a certain level of respect. But in ESPN’s latest ranking of the NFL’s top-10 edge rushers for 2022, Quinn doesn’t even make the cut. In fact, Quinn doesn’t even get a spot among the honorable mentions. Ultimately, Quinn lands in the “also receiving votes” category alongside Josh Allen (no, not that one) and Rashan Gary. To be fair, it isn’t as if Quinn is with bad company. Allen and Gary are young pass-rushers on the rise. But considering Quinn just put up a Pro Bowl year that came with a second-team All-Pro nod. In short, Quinn not making the top-10 *OR* landing a spot among the honorable mentions feels absolutely disrespectful.

Then again, maybe this ranking puts into perspective why Quinn is still on the Bears in the first place.

Keep in mind that ESPN’s preseason positional rankings are based on input from 50 (!) NFL executives, coaches, and scouts. In other words, Quinn not making the top-10 isn’t an ESPN blindspot. And it isn’t necessarily snubbing him because he plays on a team pundits believe will be a bottom-feeder in 2022. Instead, Quinn’s placement in the rankings is a direct result of NFL officials at various levels essentially using their votes to say they’re not buying his record-setting 2021 season. Especially without Khalil Mack (who checked in among the top-10, by the way) lining up on the other side of the formation for a portion of games.

It’s not as if there haven’t been discussions regarding Quinn’s place on the rumor mill. Trade rumors have been surrounding Quinn since April, with teams “sniffing around” a potential deal ahead of the NFL Draft. The Bears were reportedly not shopping him this offseason, but a Quinn trade still felt inevitable because of all the smoke around the situation.

Quinn didn’t show up for mandatory minicamp in June, which re-fueled rumors that he wants out. It has even gotten to a point where it is realistic to envision a Bears Week 1 lineup without Quinn lining up with the defense. And yet, nothing has come of it. What gives?

It could be as simple as the Bears grading Quinn higher than other teams around the league. Trades tend to get stuck in the mud when one side of negotiations don’t value a player as much as the other. And that might be what has been happening to this point. Especially if these ESPN rankings are truly indicative of how folks around the league feel about him.

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Author: Luis Medina

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