The Bears sent defensive end Robert Quinn to Philadelphia in exchange for a 4th round pick in next April’s draft. Was this a good move by general manager Ryan Poles?
With the NFL trade deadline less than a week away, new Bears general manager Ryan Poles decided the time was right to make a move and sent Robert Quinn to the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for a 2023 4th-round pick. While it was not an unexpected move, Quinn has been rumored to be on the trading block since the end of last season, it was not an easy one to take in for Bears players. Roquan Smith was informed during a press conference and became so emotional he couldn’t finish. So was this a good trade for the Bears or just for the Eagles?
Why The Bears Won The Trade
This is a massive victory for Poles. When he took over this past offseason, he immediately signaled his intentions to begin a lengthy rebuild by trading away star edge rusher Khalil Mack to the Chargers. That move made it seem to many that the 32-year-old Quinn, coming off of a season where he set the franchise single-season record for sacks at 18.5, would probably be the next one to be moved.
Yet the regular season started with Quinn still on the roster. Perhaps the thinking was to have Quinn get off to a great start and hope to maximize his trade value that way. But through seven games, Quinn has just eight tackles; two for a loss, and one lone sack. The NFL trade deadline is also not known for being terribly busy, so it began to look like Quinn could very likely remain in Chicago.
Yet with all those things working against him, Poles managed to work out a deal for a 4th round pick. It was beginning to feel like the best Poles would be able to do would be to get a 6th round selection, if he was able to move Quinn at all, so getting a draft pick two rounds earlier is a big surprise.
Reportedly, the Bears will be paying for most of Quinn’s salary for the rest of this season, but that’s a perfectly fine concession to make. They would have continued to pay Quinn this season without a trade. This was not a salary dump move, and offering to pay Quinn’s salary for this year allowed Poles to ask for better compensation in return.
This move also puts a feather in Poles’s cap for the staff he built in the Bears’ front office. Ian Cunningham is the first-ever assistant general manager in Chicago Bears history and Poles made it a point to create that position. Cunningham came to the Bears from the Eagles organization, and his familiarity with that team and its front office almost certainly helped get this deal done.
In all, Quinn’s tenure in Chicago is a strange one. On the plus side, he was durable, missing only two games in two-plus seasons, and he does hold one of the biggest records a defensive player could hold in a town that prides itself on great defense. Yet all of his success came almost exclusively in one fantastic season. Outside of 2021, Quinn had just three sacks and 28 tackles in 22 games for the Bears.
Why The Eagles Won The Trade
As the only remaining unbeaten team in the NFL heading into Week Eight, the Eagles are clearly in “win now” mode. Third-year quarterback Jalen Hurts is playing at an incredibly high level with over 1,500 throwing yards and 12 total touchdowns through just six games.
General manager Howie Roseman made some big swings in the offseason, most notably acquiring wide receiver A.J. Brown in a trade with Tennessee to try and help Hurts. Those moves have paid off and now Roseman recognized that the time was right to give the defense a boost. The Eagles have just 17 sacks as a team through six games and only six players have recorded a sack to this point. Philadelphia lost defensive end Derek Barnett in the first game of the season. Adding Quinn, even if he is simply part of a rotation and not a featured player on the defensive line, can help to ease the burden on the rest of the pass rushers.
The 4th round pick shouldn’t be too costly, either. The Eagles are almost a certain lock to make the playoffs at this point, which would put the pick in the bottom half at least of the 4th round. However, the Eagles still have six other picks, including two 1st rounders, in the 2023 draft. That’s plenty of ammunition to spare.
In the end, the goal of any trade should be to benefit both parties and this one appears to do that. The Bears are able to get excellent value on a player they probably weren’t going to keep beyond this season. Now they will get to take a closer look at some of their younger prospects, like Trevis Gipson and Dominique Robinson. And a 4th round pick, while not always the most glamorous, are the kinds of picks where general managers can distinguish themselves by finding the “under the radar” players that give championship rosters the depth and balance they need.
For the Eagles, this trade gives some extra punch to their pass rush, which is something no playoff team can ever have too much of. While the price tag may have been a little high, it’s nothing that Philadelphia can’t afford, especially since it’s not going to cost any additional money. In all, this was a very fair trade.
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