One of the biggest problems the Bears face this offseason will be trying to makeover the offense with almost no cap room. It makes sense as Ryan Pace has invested tons of money on the Bears defense. For the most part that investment has paid off, but one contract in particular sticks out like a sore thumb: Robert Quinn’s.
The Bears inked Quinn to a five-year, $70 million deal this offseason that included $30 million in guaranteed money. For that premium price tag, the Bears have gotten one sack, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. It’s true that Quinn has made an impact pressuring the quarterback and hurrying throws, but sooner or later he’s got to get home to justify that lucrative deal.
That was the whole reason why the Bears opted not to re-sign Leonard Floyd in the first place. He was making impact plays, but not filling out the stat sheet-- especially in the sack column. So they shelled out cash for Quinn, while Floyd signed a one-year $10 million deal with the Rams.
Pro Football Talk’s Chris Simms says that decision backfired in a big way.
“It is a disaster,” Simms told NBC Sports Chicago. “I don’t think you can deny that. There’s no doubt. I saw what they were trying to do. I get the point of it. Quinn is a good football player, throughout his career a better pure pass rusher than Leonard Floyd. But I just want to make this clear for everybody out there: he’s not as good as Leonard Floyd.
“I tried to say that over the offseason. Yeah, Leonard Floyd’s not the kind of guy that gets 10 sacks a year, and people have a hard time swallowing that pill when he was a top-10 pick. But man, Floyd is extremely disruptive in all facets of the football game. He’s really a hell of a player and he’s kicking butt in L.A. I’m sorry about that Chicago.”
So far, Floyd has seven sacks this season. That already ties his career high, a mark he set his rookie year in 2016. He’s also recovered two fumbles, and was named the NFC Defensive Player of the Week in Week 10.
“Chicago overpaid, there’s no doubt about that,” Simms said. “It’s hurt their football team and certainly what you do to evaluate a football team is you follow the money. Then you go, ‘Ok, there’s a lot of money here. Is that money performing up to expectations?’ That’s one spot where I think you can go, no that doesn’t make sense. Akiem Hicks? Yes. Khalil Mack? Yes. Danny Trevathan, Roquan Smith? Yes, yes, yes. Eddie Jackson? All great. But that is an issue over there, they’re paying him like he’s a top-tier pass rusher and that’s not the case.”
The Bears won’t have an easy time cutting ties with Quinn because of his contract either. He carries a dead cap hit of $23.9 million next season, according to Spotrac, so releasing him won’t be a viable option, and finding a trade partner is extremely unlikely.
Quinn did miss the first game of the season with an ankle injury, so it’s possible that could still be affecting his play if it’s a nagging issue. If that’s the case, taking a week off for the bye could help Quinn feel better, and play better. If not, Bears fans will have to simply hope he can find a way to finish the season strong and come back with a better full season in 2021.