Bears DL target: Robert Quinn
Jon Durr - USA Today Sports

Bears DL target: Robert Quinn

by - Senior Writer -

It is no secret that the Bear's defense went through a dramatic makeover last season, and the results were not pretty. After trading away Khalil Mack, Robert Quinn, and Roquan Smith and losing Akiem Hicks and Kyle Fuller all within a calendar year, the Bear's defense went from one of the best units in football to one of the worst overnight.

During the struggles, the Bears acquired picks in this year's draft to help them build for the future. However, with the future comes high expectations that this team will again be a contender in the NFC North. For that to happen, the Bears need to fix their biggest glaring need, which is pass rush help on the defensive side of the ball.

Coming off a season in which the defense picked up a total of 20 sacks, many felt the Bears would be in on many pass rushers this offseason. You have seen Ryan Poles add to the defense all offseason, but none are what you would call a pass-rushing specialist. I do expect the Bears to be in the market for one as camp looms, and if Robert Quinn remains unsigned, the Bears need to do him right and bring him back.

After watching Leonard Floyd recently sign with the Bills, another former Bear is still available on the open market and is looking to land a new home in 2023. Quinn is a long-time veteran of the NFL and has had a great career. That includes an amazing run in Chicago, where he set the franchise record for sacks in a season before being traded to Philadelphia last season.

Not only is Quinn a multiple pro bowler, but he is one of the most well-respected players in the game. The entire Bears locker room loved him when he was here, and it was a shock to see him traded when that day came. That news didn't sit well with Quinn either, who was significantly hurt by the decision even if he did reach the Superbowl last season. Given how upset he was when the deal happened, Quinn may not want to return, but the Bears owe it to him to open up the discussions to see if he is interested.

In 2021, Quinn set a Bears record with 18.5 sacks and emerged as one of the premiere pass rushers in the game. A big reason for that was the attention that Mack required which opened up a lot of things for Quinn on his side. Once the decision was made to trade Mack to Los Angeles, teams could shift their focus to Quinn, making him the focal point of the Bears' defense.

That was the main reason his production took such a hit last season, as he was now double-teamed instead of being one on one with defenders. Everyone knew his production would decline last season, but with just one sack in 13 games, no one expected that much of a decline.

After signing a five-year, 70-million dollar deal with the Bears in 2020, the Eagles helped Chicago take care of his remaining salary, but now could be on the free agent market. Given his age (33), he is much older than most of the players the Bears have targeted this season, but he brings the veteran presence that the defense lacked throughout the second half last season.

This is a player that would walk into Chicago not only familiar with the defensive scheme that Matt Eberflus and Alan Williams have in place, but he is also someone that will not request anywhere near the 70 million the Bears gave him several years ago. Reuniting players with a team can sometimes be tricky to navigate, but when it comes to Quinn, they owe it to him to try and make something work.

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