By R.L. Bynum
The Chicago Bears have agreed to trade former Carolina defensive end Robert Quinn, who is having one of his least-productive seasons, to the Philadelphia Eagles for a fourth-round pick in the 2023 NFL draft, pending a physical.
After breaking Richard Dent’s Bears single-season sack record last season with 18½, he has only one through seven games and only has six tackles and two assists. Last season, he had 38 tackles and 11 assists.
“On the business side, it just made too much sense for what we’re trying to do,” Bears general manager Ryan Poles said. “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.”
His tackles-per-game (tackles, plus assists) average of 1.14 is his lowest since a 1.11 in 2016 with the Los Angeles Rams when he played only nine games. According to Pro Football Focus, he grades out 121st out of 124 defensive ends.
The St. Louis Rams picked him 14th overall in the first round of the 2011 draft, and he played seven seasons for the Rams before going to Miami in 2018, Dallas in 2019 and Chicago in 2020. He was first-team All-Pro in 2013 and went to the Pro Bowl in 2013, 2014 and 2021.
Quinn signed a five-year, $70-million free-agent deal with the Bears in 2020. At 32, he was the oldest player on the Bears’ roster.
Bears linebacker Roquan Smith reacted emotionally to the news of the trade.
Quinn played two seasons at Carolina, with 22 tackles and 12 assists as a freshman in 2008, when he was the ACC Defensive Rookie of the year, and 35 tackles and 17 assists in 2009.
He missed his junior season in 2010 because the NCAA ruled him ineligible for receiving travel accommodations and jewelry. In 2013, UNC sent him, Marvin Austin and Greg Little permanent disassociation letters.
“I have no ties to North Carolina anymore,” Quinn said when he got his letter. “I’m a professional now. I’m looking toward the future, bettering my life. They do what they’ve got to do.”
Quinn was asked in September 2021 about his relationship with Carolina.
“I don’t even claim that school,” Quinn said. “And you can tell them.”