One of the first big moves of the new Bears regime this offseason was to trade away one of the most accomplished players on the team, with Chicago shipping star pass rusher Khalil Mack to the Chargers in a swap of draft picks. Now, Mack’s former running mate off the edge could be next to go. All-Pro defensive end Robert Quinn is expected to skip the Bears’ mandatory minicamp this week, according to NFL Media, while rumors persist about the veteran’s availability via trade.
Quinn, 32, is training on his own away from the team, per Ian Rapoport. It’s unclear if his absence is excused, which is possible if the Bears are, in fact, planning to deal the pass rusher in the near future. CBS Sports previously reported that Quinn desires a change of scenery, mostly because he’d prefer not to be “rebuilding,” as he publicly alluded to this offseason. The three-time Pro Bowler has lamented Mack’s sudden departure and also saw fellow starter Akiem Hicks leave for a contending team this year.
“At the end of the day, it’s a business,” Quinn said in April, per the Chicago Tribune. “Again, you see Khalil Mack getting traded. I mean … again, it’s just a business. … I didn’t expect to go anywhere, or want to go anywhere, but again, this is a crazy business. … If something’s going to happen, it’s going to happen, but again, it is what is what it is.”
Quinn is coming off one of the best seasons of his 11-year career, logging a team-high 18.5 sacks in 2021. (Only the Steelers‘ T.J. Watt had more across the NFL.) The former Rams and Cowboys standout, who’s eclipsed double-digit sacks in five different seasons, is due just over $17 million in 2022 on his current contract, a five-year, $70M deal signed in 2020 free agency. Chicago, meanwhile, would save just under $13M this year by trading Quinn this summer.