Some people were skeptical of the decision by GM Ryan Poles to deal Robert Quinn at the trade deadline. The Chicago Bears had just thumped the New England Patriots. He was their best pass rusher despite his limited sack production by that point. Poles adhered to his plan. Quinn was an aging player on a big contract. This team was rebuilding. The smart decision in his mind was to send the defensive end to a contender for a draft pick. After some negotiations, Poles secured a 4th round pick from the Philadelphia Eagles.
In hindsight, it looks like the Bears GM committed a Class A felony. Not only has Quinn done little to help his new team (zero sacks since arriving), but his season took an unfortunate turn when he suffered a knee injury during practice. This forced him to undergo minor surgery, landing him on Injured Reserve for the next month. Hope remains that he can return for the playoffs, but this is obviously not what the organization envisioned when they traded for the former Pro Bowlers. Meanwhile, the Bears will soon gain a solid draft pick and millions in salary cap space.
Ryan Poles must still fill the void Quinn once occupied.
The Bears have no pass rush. None at all. At least when Quinn was still here, there was the illusion of a threat. Teams no longer even fear that. Chicago defensive linemen barely touched Aaron Rodgers last Sunday. Changes must be made next spring. It wouldn’t be a surprise if the defensive line has at least three new starters when the dust settles with both defensive end spots replaced. Trevis Gipson has disappointed. Al-Quadin Muhammad has been a non-factor. Dominique Robinson has potential but clearly isn’t ready.
Ryan Poles will have loads of salary cap space and likely a top five draft pick to correct these issues. The 2023 draft class appears strong at defensive end, with Alabama’s Will Anderson leading the charge. Landing him would give the Bears a genuine blue-chip pass rusher that can be every bit as good as Quinn was. Hopefully, the veteran will have a chance to live his dream of competing in a Super Bowl next month. One would hate to see this big opportunity wasted because of an injury.