Chicago Bears: Why Robert Quinn’s next two seasons are most important

The Chicago Bears made a splash in free agency signing Robert Quinn, but they need to get the most out of him within the next two years.

There’s no doubt that the Chicago Bears made the right move letting Leonard Floyd go and replacing him with Robert Quinn. After logging seven sacks in his rookie year, Floyd failed to replicate that production on the box score. With the Bears needing pass rush help, signing Quinn was an excellent move.

That said, Quinn is already 29 years old, and he’s signed to a five-year deal. The Bears do have an out after the first two years but at a dead cap of $9.3M. And looking at how both Dwight Freeney and Everson Griffen‘s careers panned out after turning 30, the Bears will need to get the most from Quinn over the next couple of years.

Freeney was a prolific pass-rusher. Known for his patented spin move, he racked up a combined 94.0 sacks through his age 30 season. However, after that, the numbers slowly declined from 8.5 at age 31 down to 3.0 at age 36. Granted, he was a part-time player near the end of his career.

As for Griffen, he started out slow but came on strong from age 25 to 28. He logged 8.0 sacks at age 29 and 13.0 at age 30. But his production has dropped off significantly in the last two years, with 5.5 and 8.0 sacks in 2018 and 2019, respectively.

Of course, there are players like Michael Strahan and Jason Taylor, who were recording double-digit sacks into their early and mid-30s. But it also makes me nervous that before last season, Quinn hadn’t recorded double-digit sacks since 2014 when he was still with the St. Louis Rams.

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Obviously, Bears general manager Ryan Pace structured Quinn’s contract to have an exit after two years should he fall off a cliff. However, the potential dead cap of $9.3M is not encouraging, considering the Bears have been up against the cap for the last several seasons.