The Bears Have a Problem with One of Their Best Players

The Bears Have a Problem with One of Their Best Players
Sep 19, 2021; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Bears linebacker Robert Quinn. Mandatory Credit: Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports.

When the Minnesota Vikings searched for a new general manager, the choice boiled down to Ryan Poles, who eventually signed on the dotted line with the Chicago Bears, and Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, the Vikings new bossman.

And after just five months of leadership, many Vikings fans are grateful the team opted not to embrace Poles, as the Bears new GM has conducted a strange offseason.

And the Bears offseason became even weirder this week when EDGE rusher Robert Quinn, who had 18.5 sacks in 2021, failed to appear at the team’s minicamp.

In an offseason of change — one that seems like Poles is effectuating a full rebuild — trading Quinn feels like a viable possibility. Otherwise, he should’ve shown up at mandatory minicamp, perhaps serving as a veteran presence for the in-flux 2022 Bears.

But Quinn did not, casting his future with the Bears in doubt. And for a man who’s notched three Pro Bowls, life without Quinn would be a big deal for Chicago — especially because Khalil Mack bolted for the Los Angeles Chargers this offseason.

Dec 20, 2020; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Chicago Bears linebacker Robert Quinn (94) sacks and forces a fumble on Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports.

The Bears could realistically set forth on the 2022 campaign with Mario Edwards Jr. and Al-Quadin Muhammad as the organization’s pass rushers, a twosome that would automatically rank near the bottom of the NFL for talent.

Trading Quinn would clear $12.9M in 2022 cap space for Chicago. And if Poles is serious about this rebuild, that may be too tantalizing to resist. Plus, there would be a robust market for Quinn, evidenced by his 18.5 sacks last year, a behemoth figure.

The Bears apparent rebuild occurs at an odd time, too. Second-year quarterback Justin Fields will need a skilled team around him to succeed, but it doesn’t seem like Poles is too concerned about setting Fields up for success in 2022. Aside from Darnell Mooney, the Bears WR room is outfitted with WR3 or WR4-types, which may not be beneficial for Fields, who hopes to rectify a fairly poor rookie showing.

The Vikings take on the Bears in Week at U.S. Bank Stadium. Whether Quinn is on the field for that game is firmly to be determined.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).