Bears should only trade Robert Quinn for Von Miller-type offer

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·3 min read
Bears should only trade Robert Quinn for Von Miller-type offer
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Trading Quinn only makes sense if Bears get Von Miller-level offer originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

The Bears are entering the first stage of a lengthy rebuilding process under new general manager Ryan Poles and new head coach Matt Eberflus.

Robert Quinn is 32 years old and coming off one of the best seasons of his career. Quinn, who has played in just two NFL playoff games, surely wants to spend the back half of his career vying for Super Bowls.

The franchise’s new timeline and Quinn’s don’t match up. That likely has something to do with CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora’s report Friday that Quinn wants out of Chicago and that a “host of teams” are interested in acquiring the veteran pass rusher.

That all makes sense. Quinn is under contract through the 2024 season at a manageable $13.3 million per season salary.

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But the Bears shouldn’t be in a hurry to trade Quinn. Even the most extensive rebuilds require steady veteran presences to build around. When they are there at a critical position, their value is even greater to the rebuild.

Last season, Quinn notched 18.5 sacks, 49 tackles, and 22 quarterback hits. He earned a Pro Bowl nod and was one of the Bears’ lone bright spots.

This offseason, the Bears traded Khalil Mack, leaving Quinn as the only top-tier pass rusher on the roster. Chicago has a young, talented rusher in Trevis Gipson and a developmental rusher in Dominque Robinson. Both will benefit from Quinn’s leadership and knowledge.

Successful rebuilds require a multitude of things. Young talent mixed with veteran leadership willing to lay the foundation for a winning culture and mentor the next group as it arrives.

The best rebuilds often start with established veteran pieces already in place.

The Philadelphia Eagles retooled around Jason Kelce, Lane Johnson, Darius Slay, Fletcher Cox, and Brandon Graham. In less than 24 months, the Eagles have gone from 4-11-1 to Super Bowl contender with a still-developing quarterback in Jalen Hurts.

Quinn, along with Roquan Smith, Eddie Jackson, and Jaylon Johnson, could, and should, be integral pieces to this rebuild along with Justin Fields.

Quinn wasn’t present during the first week of organized team activities. While Eberflus would prefer everyone was in the building, he said he trusts Quinn to be ready to go when the time comes.

Poles and Eberflus should want Quinn to be part of what they are building. He’ll almost certainly be on the team to start the season, but if Quinn gets off to another good start, contending teams will call as the trade deadline nears.

Then, the Bears must determine what’s more valuable to their future: Quinn or a Day 3 draft pick?

La Canfora said he could see Quinn fetching more than the second- and third-round pick the Denver Broncos got for Von Miller from the Los Angeles Rams last season. If that’s the case, the Bears shouldn’t hesitate to call in the trade when the time comes.

However, that seems highly unlikely given the recent history of trade compensation in the NFL. The Chargers gave the Bears a second- and a sixth-round pick for Mack. In 2019, the 49ers gave the Kansas City Chiefs a second-round pick for Dee Ford. As noted above, the Rams gave the Broncos a second and a third for Miller.

Quinn is coming off an impressive season and has a very team-friendly contract. But he is 32 years old and doesn’t have the consistent pedigree of Miller or Mack.

It’s more likely he’d fetch an early Day 3 pick than a second and a third.

If the Bears can find a contender desperate enough to give them one or multiple top-100 picks, they should jump at the offer. Otherwise, Quinn is much more valuable as a key piece of their defensive line than as a trade chip for a Day 3 selection.

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