The Chicago Bears made a blockbuster trade sending Pro Bowl pass rusher Robert Quinn to the Philadelphia Eagles. Chicago received a 2023 fourth-round pick in return, which will help general manager Ryan Poles as he continues to rebuild this roster.
It’s a move that didn’t come as too big of a surprise considering the Bears are in the middle of a rebuild, where Poles has already parted ways with expensive, aging veterans.
While Quinn’s veteran presence will certainly be missed, Poles explained that his job is to think about the team now and beyond. Which is exactly why this is a move that needed to happen.
Here’s a collection of all of the grades for the Bears’ trade of Robert Quinn, where most experts loved the move for Chicago.
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ESPN had the Eagles winning the trade with an A.
The Bears had to trade Quinn. I was surprised it didn’t happen before the season, to be honest. But for a rebuilding team Quinn was too good, too old and cost too much against the salary cap to remain in Chicago, where his production and cost would be wasted.
Despite beating the New England Patriots on “Monday Night Football” and having a 3-4 record, credit the Bears for knowing who they are: non-contenders. ESPN’s Football Power Index considered Chicago the 27th best team in the NFL prior to the Quinn deal. Trading Quinn arms the Bears with an extra pick and some cap space they can roll into the future for when they intend to seriously compete.
The compensation is a little lighter than what I expected given Quinn’s incredible production a year ago. Ultimately, though, the Bears had to take the best offer available to them before the deadline.
Quinn might not be the only impact defender Chicago deals prior to the deadline. Linebacker Roquan Smith is currently playing on his fifth-year option and requested a trade prior to this season.
From a pass-rushing standpoint, the Bears are left thin without Quinn, as no player on their roster has more than 2.5 sacks. The player who has 2.5 sacks? Smith, who could be following Quinn out of Chicago.
CBS Sports: B-
AP Photo/Duane Burleson
CBS Sports likes the move as it could allow younger players, like Trevis Gipson and Dominique Robinson, to shine.
With this move, it looks like the Bears will be putting more on the plates of Dominique Robinson and Trevis Gipson. The Bears were per Over The Cap. Quinn was a good player, but maybe one of these younger guys can be a solid starter at defensive end.Quinn around this month as the trade deadline approached, and they found a willing partner in the Eagles. A fourth-rounder for Quinn at face value sounds solid, but this may have been a fifth if the Bears weren’t paying $7.1 million of Quinn’s remaining base salary this season. The Bears are currently in the top 10 of most available cap space with $6.69 million,
For The Win: A
AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps
For The Win praised GM Ryan Poles for getting draft compensation for a player who wasn’t part of the long-term future.
The Bears might appreciate that they’re starting to see Justin Fields blossom in front of their eyes, but this bare-bones squad isn’t in a position to win just yet. They need more young premium talent, and lots of it, and talent doesn’t grow on trees — most of it comes from the draft.
Fortunately for Chicago, rookie GM Ryan Poles appears to see the Lake Forest for the trees. At 32 and in a potential decline, Robert Quinn had no long-term future with the Bears. It didn’t make sense for them to hold onto an older edge rusher with a $14 million and $13 million cap hit in 2023 and 2024, respectively. Essentially, it was easy to see Poles was going to release Quinn this offseason (who has no dead cap hit on his contract after this year), and he recouped a solid Day 3 draft pick for a half-year rental instead.
This is an excellent move for a Bears team that just needs players and shots at the dartboard in the draft. And with plenty of cap space in the offseason, the Bears could certainly afford to take on most of Quinn’s salary this year if it meant better draft capital in return. In an ideal world, a fourth-round pick should be a future starter/significant contributor to Chicago’s ongoing rebuild.
Plus, again, let’s not lose sight of the fact that Quinn has been a non-factor for the Bears for most of 2022. That they were able to turn his services into a fourth-rounder is highly commendable. Oh, by the way: The Bears now have nearly $125 million in cap space (!) heading into 2023.
With this move, Poles and Co. took a big step into the future, and I see little fault.
Sports Illustrated: B+
AP Photo/Danny Karnik
Sports Illustrated likes the move given it provides Chicago with another draft pick as Poles rebuilds the roster.
The Bears need picks. We saw the Ravens build a steady competitor out of their slew of fourth-round picks, so I wouldn’t for one second discount the return. If nothing else, it gives Chicago a chance in the draft next year to take a legitimate flier on a player who may really fit its system.
AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh
NJ.com understands the Bears need draft picks as they build their roster from the bottom up.
When the Bears acquired Quinn, they thought they would be adding to an already respected defense. However, things did not completely work out in the two-and-a-half seasons he was there, with the Bears not making the playoffs. Still in the middle of a rebuild, the Bears need as many picks as they can to help get younger on defense and to continue to surround quarterback Justin Fields with weapons. It was surprising that the Bears took on some of the money in Quinn’s contract, but it was probably necessary if they wanted to move Quinn before the deadline.
Pro Football Network: D+
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Apparently, Pro Football Network is the only outlet that wasn’t a fan of the Bears trading Quinn. That’s because they feel Chicago should’ve gotten more.
It makes all the sense in the world for the Bears to trade Quinn. At 3-4, Chicago isn’t really in the playoff race, and Quinn won’t be around by the time the Bears are competitive again. So, acquiring draft capital for an aged asset is a sound business strategy.
Having said that, it’s surprising Chicago couldn’t extract more than a fourth-round pick in exchange for Quinn. Edge rushers are hard to find, and nearly every team in the postseason picture could stand to add another pressure creator.
That alone should have driven Quinn’s price up. The fact that the Bears were willing to eat most of his salary should have driven it up even further.
Last season, the Broncos picked up second- and third-round selections from the Rams in exchange for Von Miller. Sure, Miller is a future Hall of Famer, while Quinn isn’t at that level. But the gap in talent and impact isn’t equivalent to the difference in cost.
General manager Ryan Poles surely shopped Quinn around the league before trading him, so perhaps this is simply the best offer the Bears received. But it’s an incredibly disappointing return, especially when financials are factored into the equation.
Bears Wire: A-
AP Photo/Kamil Krzaczynski
Here at Bears Wire, the belief is the Quinn trade was the right move for the future of this team.
When the 2022 NFL season began and Quinn was still on the Bears roster, it felt like a missed opportunity. This team wasn’t in any position to compete and Quinn wasn’t going to be the same difference maker he was in 2021. There was just no way he could replicate such an impressive season. The prevailing thought was the Bears should have dealt him in the offseason while his value was at its highest, especially considering there were reports out there that teams were checking on his availability.
It’s unclear what the Bears could have gotten for him at that time, but it’s possible a third-round pick was up for grabs. But considering he was moved during the season, the Bears being able to snag a fourth when he hasn’t flashed nearly as much as he did a year ago is a solid return. The fact the Bears could afford to eat the majority of his 2022 salary made things more palatable for the Eagles, which in turn gave the Bears a better draft pick and opened up even more cap space in the 2023 offseason with roughly $125 million.
At 32 years old with over a decade of experience in the league, Quinn can still get the job done as a pass rusher, but his best days are behind him. It feels as if the 2021 season was an aberration and he simply wasn’t going to be around when the Bears were ready to compete again. It was time to move on and it clears the way for younger players to make more of an impact, while giving Quinn another shot at a title. He’s the perfect compliment to the Eagles defense to help lift a struggling pass rushing unit.
Still, his presence in the locker room will be missed. Quinn was voted a team captain by his teammates for a reason and seeing the way Roquan Smith broke down upon hearing the news tells you all you need to know. But it was the right move for this team moving forward and the draft pick will be yet another asset towards building for the future.