The Chicago Bears defense has been good this year. Really good. The problem is that isn’t, well, good enough. Shouldered with the second-worst offense in the NFL through 10 games, this unit needs to be great. It is certainly paid to be that. Most of their high-priced veterans have delivered this year from Khalil Mack to Akiem Hicks, Kyle Fuller, and Eddie Jackson. One who has not is their latest addition. Outside linebacker Robert Quinn.

Back in March, people were excited when Chicago nabbed the veteran pass rusher. He’d just delivered 11.5 sacks for Dallas last season. The Bears had got just three from Leonard Floyd. They needed a boost opposite Mack. Quinn made logical sense. The one problem is it cost the team $70 million to make happen. That’s a lot of money for a 30-year old player.

Way too much as it turns out.

Problems surfaced almost immediately. Quinn didn’t practice much in training camp, leading to speculation he was dealing with health issues. Then he didn’t play on opening day against Detroit. Finally, in Week 2 against New York, he delivered with a sack on his very first snap. Then in the 269 since? Nothing. Not one sack in almost nine complete games.

One can imagine Bears fans are upset. Okay, they’re living. GM Ryan Pace threw a boatload of guaranteed money at this guy when they could’ve spent it trying to help one of the worst offenses in the NFL. It probably doesn’t help that Floyd has seven sacks this year with the Los Angeles Rams. That makes it look even worse.

By the sound of things, it’s not just fans who are angry. Quinn’s coaches don’t sound happy either. Ted Monachino echoed that to Adam Hoge of NBC Sports Chicago.

Bears are largely stuck with Robert Quinn

The reality is the structure of Quinn’s contract makes it essentially a three-year deal. They can’t cut him next year and it’s unlikely any team will trade for him. They’ll have to wait until 2022 to get their first chance to get him off the books and even then they will still be saddled with $9.3 million in dead money. This is looking like possibly the worst contract Pace has ever handed out. Rather fitting since this might be his last year in charge.

All the Bears can do is try to make the best of it. Quinn is no stranger to career droughts. In 2018, he went sackless for seven games for the Miami Dolphins before finishing with 5.5 over the remaining seven. So he’s shown he can get hot. It’s just hard to trust he can turn it on like that anymore. He seems a step slow way too often lately and hasn’t been able to finish.

Now with Akiem Hicks ailing? He’s needed more than ever.

Robert Quinn still has time to show everybody he has plenty left to offer. Pass rushers tend to age more gracefully in the NFL than other positions. Otherwise, he could end up going down as one of the worst free agent signings in franchise history. A guy who got his big payday and pretty much checked out. Not the first time it’s happened. It’s just the timing couldn’t be worse for a team that needs every resource possible to rebuild this offense next spring.