Chicago Bears: Trading Robert Quinn should be a priority

Robert Quinn-Chicago Bears (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Robert Quinn-Chicago Bears (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

The leader in sacks for the Chicago Bears in 2021 is not Khalil Mack. It’s Robert Quinn. In four games this season, Quinn has logged 4.5 sacks. Additionally, he’s had nine solo tackles, four tackles for loss, and seven quarterback hits, per Pro Football Reference.

Quinn’s reemergence has been a boost of confidence for the defense. Having two elite edge defenders has made the team number one in the league in sacks with 15. After a forgetful 2020 season, Quinn is beginning to earn every dollar of his 5-year, $70 million deal. That being said, the Bears should consider trading Quinn while his play is good.

Why should the team consider a trade?

The Bears are working with roughly less than $50 million in cap space for 2022. The team will also only have 35 players on the roster as of now. With looming extensions for players such as Roquan Smith and potentially Allen Robinson in the works, Quinn’s hold on the Bears total money could hinder their free-agent decisions.

Should the Bears move Quinn now, they’ll save $11.5 million dollars while taking a hit of roughly $3 million in dead cap, per Over the Cap. There’s potential in saving more money by cutting Quinn in 2022, but a trade presents the Bears with another need: draft capital.

Chicago currently has five draft picks in 2022. They traded their first and fourth-round pick to New York to acquire Justin Fields. They sent a seventh-round pick with Anthony Miller to Houston in exchange for another fifth-round pick. Acquiring any sort of draft capital for Quinn while also freeing up cap space would be a move the team must consider. Super Bowl contenders will be eyeing the trade deadline for edge rushers, and Quinn could be a top trade priority should he be made available.

Can the team move on from Quinn?

Quinn’s departure would put a hole in the Bears defense. However, the team does have options in-home should they need them.

2020 5th-round pick Trevis Gipson made the most of his snaps for the Bears in a 24-14 win over the Detroit Lions.

Should Quinn be traded, the team would rely on Gipson’s potential emergence. They also have veteran Jeremiah Attaochu, who has been contributing as a backup for the Bears. Should the team need more depth, they could activate undrafted rookie Charles Snowden or utilize 2021 free-agent addition Christian Jones on the outside.

3 losers from win over Lions. dark. Next

Trading Quinn would likely hurt the defense in the short run, but the long-term outlook presents multiple opportunities. For a team that may finally have their answer at quarterback, the long-term outlook must outweigh any short-term victories or success.