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Roster Move: Bears agree to trade Quinn for fourth-round pick

Defensive end Robert Quinn
Defensive end Robert Quinn

The Bears on Wednesday agreed to trade veteran defensive end Robert Quinn to the Eagles in exchange for a 2023 fourth-round draft pick, pending a physical.

Quinn is in his 12th NFL season and third with the Bears. During his time in Chicago, he appeared in 38 games with 36 starts, compiling 77 tackles, 21.5 sacks, 19 tackles-for-loss and seven forced fumbles. 

"On the business side, it just made too much sense for what we're trying to do," general manager Ryan Poles told reporters. "It's going to allow us to continue to build a highly competitive roster.

"For the future, I think it's going to give us the ability to continue to grow and build our foundation that we're trying to build. That is the exciting part."

Last year Quinn set a Bears single-season record with 18.5 sacks, eclipsing Hall of Fame defensive end Richard Dent's 17.5 in 1984. Quinn was named NFC defensive player of the month in November after registering 5.5 sacks, 14 tackles, five tackles-for-loss and two forced fumbles. He was also voted to the third Pro Bowl of his career. 

In the first seven games this season, Quinn recorded eight tackles, two tackles-for loss and one sack—a Week 2 takedown of Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. 

Poles opened his impromptu press conference by thanking Quinn "for everything that he's done."

"When I took this job, he embodied everything that we were looking for to get this thing started: the way he played and what he stood for as a human being. I know that the Eagles are really fortunate to have him. Any time you have a guy that's in the 100-sack club, that's pretty special.

"I thought the value was fair for a good player that has a lot of rush production in his background, so it just kind of worked out."

Poles credited assistant GM Ian Cunningham with helping complete the deal. Before joining the Bears this year, Cunningham spent the previous five seasons working for the Eagles under executive vice president and general manager Howie Roseman.

"[Cunningham] put a lot of work into this," Poles said. "Obviously his relationship with Howie went a long way. There's a lot of trust there. I also want to thank Howie for his part as well."

Poles felt comfortable making the trade because of the trust he has in Bears defensive ends Trevis Gipson, Al-Quadin Muhammad, Dominique Robinson and Kingsley Jonathan.

"Those guys are going to continue to do a good job," Poles said. "I really do trust in Gipson; he's had a good start to the season. Muhammad, he's brought intensity and toughness to that group, and even young Dom Robinson has flashed; he tipped that ball that Roquan [Smith intercepted Monday night] and has a promising future and I think he's going to continue to trend upwards."

Quinn signed a five-year contract with the Bears in 2020. Prior to that, he spent his first nine NFL seasons with the Rams (2011-17), Dolphins (2018) and Cowboys (2019), compiling 290 tackles, 80.5 sacks, 90 tackles-for-loss, 25 forced fumbles, 20 pass breakups, two fumble recoveries and one touchdown.

Quinn is the second veteran defensive end the Bears have traded in 2022. In March, they dealt Khalil Mack to the Chargers in exchange for a 2022 second-round pick they spent on safety Jaquan Brisker and a 2023 sixth-round selection they later sent to the Chargers for two 2022 seventh-round choices they used to pick safety Elijah Hicks and punter Trenton Gill.

Poles acknowledged that trading Quinn wasn't easy.

"Part of the tough thing with this job and the position are the tough decisions you have to make," Poles said. "I almost feel like there's the emotional side, the human part of it that you know you're affecting not only a man but his family. You're kind of shaking that all up, and I don't take that lightly at all and I'm sensitive to that.

"You also know that you're tweaking the fibers of your locker room, and that's a big deal too. He meant a lot to that locker room, but I'm fully confident that the guys, especially on the defensive side—the Jaylon Johnsons, the Eddie Jacksons, the Roquan Smiths, Justin Jones—those guys are going to continue to hold it down and be leaders on that defense and help us continue to perform.

"I value the locker room and what it means and the culture and it sucks to mess with that, to be completely honest with you. But again, my job is to do what's best for this organization not only now, but in the future. I felt like that was the best move for us to make."

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