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Robert Quinn Trade Talk Merely Rumor

Analysis: Robert Quinn remains a Bears pass rusher and any change in that would have to fall under the category of an offer the team couldn't refuse.

It was pretty clear when Robert Quinn came to Halas Hall in April to receive the Brian Piccolo Award.

He wanted to be with the Bears this season.

"I didn’t expect to go anywhere, or want to go anywhere, but again, this is a crazy business," Quinn said.

Yet, Jason LaCanfora of CBS Sports insisted in an article that he keeps "hearing" Quinn wants out of Chicago.  He must be listening to the wrong people.

What must be made clear is LaCanfora wasn't reporting any of this as fact. The story was merely an opinion piece pointing to players who could still be on the market and then predicting what the outcome might be. 

The only thing Quinn has said publicly is he wants to stay. It was a question posed to him when he came to Halas Hall less than a month ago. 

The Bear should obviously be cosidering offers for Quinn as a rebuilding team in need of draft picks for the future, but any trade better come with a possible pass rush replacement. That's because the front four without him will be barely pro level.

There were reports of some interested teams several weeks ago, but at no point has Quinn said outright he wanted out.

Most players would just dance around such topics in a press conference.
Yet, Quinn has never been one for such games. He's one of the most honest player in his comments to media that the Bears have had over the last 10-12 years.

The Bear should obviously be considering offers for Quinn, as a rebuilding team in need of draft picks for the future. But any trade better come with a possible pass rush replacement because the front four without him will be barely pro level without him. And any trade seems far more likely to occur than an actual demand by Quinn to be dealt.

The Bears haven't done much to alter the situation facing Quinn since he made those comments, because the only draft pick they made at his position is fifth-round pick Dominique Robinson,. 

Robinson seems more likely to be a competitive concern for Trevis Gipson, because  Eberflus hasn't exactly given a ringing endorsement to Khalil Mack's replacement when he had the chance.

"He was more of an edge guy," Eberflus said of Gipson. "Can he play different spots for us in terms of outside a tight end, inside a tight end, five-technique, can he kick inside on pass rush downs? 

"Really just trying to figure out where he fits holistically in our defense." 

If Quinn's desire wasn't entirely clear on a trade, he left no room for uncertainty when when addressing his feelings after he learned about Khalil Mack being traded.

"The only thing I thought of was hopefully my resume or my production from last year gives me a little weight to keep my foot in the building," Quinn said.

At no time did Quinn hesitate or dance around the topic the way a player might if he actually felt a different way.

He was direct, as he always has been about his feelings when asked about a situation whether it was his own struggles with two sacks in 2020 or setting a team record with 18 1/2 in 2021.

Quinn made no reference to a rebuild being a difficult situation and wanting to leave to be with a winning team when the possibility was put before him.

Quinn even expressed the desire to be part of the defensive scheme the Bears were planning. It's similar to the scheme he played in under former Bears defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli in Dallas. Eberflus is using the cover-2 style like Lovie Smith and Tony Dungy and Marinelli.

"Well I know he comes with the Rod Marinelli and all that kind of ties," Quinn said. "It's just dominate the line of scrimmage, get off the ball. Basically seems like less thinking, just play defense, and just make plays when they come to you, or create them yourself. So, (I'm) going to be excited. We'll see what happens."

The "what happens" is a possible trade but not because Quinn wants out. It would be the result of a trade offer the Bears can't turn down.

LaCanfora suggests Quinn could return a second- and third-round pick. That would indeed be an offer they can't refuse, considering they got a second and sixth for Khalil Mack and he has been the more dominant all-around player.

Finding one of those ridiculous deals after June 1 for Quinn would be of benefit to the Bears' cap situation to the tune of $12.9 million, although they'd eat another $4.2 million in dead cap space according to Overthecap.com.

If it was going to happen, it seems more likely it was before GM Ryan Poles went on WSCR's Mully & Haugh and said this:

“The one thing you get with Robert is when you watch that tape, he embodies everything that coach Eberflus wants in terms of rushing the passer, the effort, the motor, tenacity. So, right now, he’s a part of the plan. I’m excited about Robert. 

"In terms of moves and all that, this league is crazy. I can’t rule anything out and give absolutes, but I want him on the team. We’ll see how everything happens as we move forward, but I’m excited."

Offers they can't refuse never can be ruled out, but then again if that occurs it's not a case of Quinn "wanting out" of Chicago as much as it is some other team wanting a  pass rusher badly who is a mere year removed from a two-sack season.

Twitter: BearDigest@BearsOnMaven

 

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