Robert Quinn didn’t want to leave the Bears, but he made the Super Bowl once


PHOENIX — The Bears’ one-season sack leader stood on the floor at Footprint Center. Instead of navy blue and orange, his trademark knit hat is now Midnight Green and Black.

Defensive end Robert Quinn never wanted to leave Chicago. It still haunts him that the Bears traded him to the Eagles on his October 26th. his.

“It’s been an unexpected journey for me,” Quinn said on Monday, “but it seems to have worked out in the end.”

Quinn didn’t want to separate his family in the middle of the season. He was furious when general manager Ryan Pauls gave him a fourth-round pick.

“Honestly, I was mad,” he said. “I am very upset [with] how it fell When you walk into the building they say you’re being traded.

“Especially after breaking records. I thought it would help me.

Just 400 days ago on Monday, Quinn set the Bears’ single-season sacks record when he tackled Giants quarterback Mike Glennon in the fourth quarter at Soldier Field. He added a half sack in the Bears’ season finale to extend his record to 18½. He was the most decorated edge rusher in his NFL franchise, best known for defense.

A lot has changed since then.

“They had different plans for the organization and the team,” Quinn said, “and I wasn’t part of it.”

It seemed like an obvious endgame all along, but it hurt. As Pauls set out to rebuild his team, he traded his fellow edge rusher Khalil Mack to the Chargers and left defensive tackle Hakeem Hicks via free agency. But Quinn was left on the roster, even though it was clear his timeline didn’t align with the competitive Bears’ window.

Quinn skipped mandatory minicamp, paid a $95,877 fine, and said he was more comfortable taking care of his body on his own. Quinn showed up when the Bears honored him with the Brian Piccolo Award .

He arrived at the training camp on time. Quinn struggled with his rush to pass the Bears in 2022 (he only had one sack before the trade), but insisted he didn’t want to go anywhere else. On October 20, he told his Sun-Times that he was “as happy as can be” at Harrahs Hall. Six days later, the Bears traded him, paying $7.1 million of his salary to expedite his transfer.

In return, Quinn agreed to void the last two years of his unguaranteed contract, making him a free agent this offseason. what’s next? retirement?

“Let’s see how life goes,” he said. “I’m a free agent. You never know what’s going to happen.”

Quinn struggled upon arriving in Philadelphia, recording two quarterback hits and no sacks in five games before being placed on injured reserve with a knee injury. He returned from his IR after his January 7 arthroscopic surgery and appeared in his season finale and his two playoff games as a regular for the Eagles.

He played a total of 40 snaps in those three games, and only six in the NFC title game against the 49ers. He has yet to get a sack with the Eagles.

Adapting to a smaller role was a challenge for Quinn. Reddick, Damcon Su and Limbal Joseph—formed the deepest defensive line in the sport.

“It was a little weird at first,” said Quinn. ”but [after] When you start winning, it’s like, “As long as we’re winning, I can do my part.” After a while, the adjustments became fairly easy. Winning makes it a lot easier. “

The Bears’ defense plummeted after the trade of Quinn and linebacker Lokan Smith. With these two on the roster, the Bears have allowed him 20-plus points twice in his six games. With both gone, the Bears gave up 25 or more points in every game for the rest of the season.

Losing two defensive leaders cost the Bears defense all the lives left. A day after the season ended, his defensive lineman Justin Jones (who took over the captaincy when the veteran player was disposed of) articulated the psychological effects of the trade.

“It was a pretty big loss,” he said. “I’m not going to lie.”

The Eagles marched on. They allowed a league-lowest 4.8 yards per play and finished the season with 70 sacks. The next closest team, the Chiefs, had him 55 men.

Quinn, who turns 33 in May, has gone 12 seasons, 169 regular season games and 3,781 defensive snaps without winning a playoff game. Last month, he won his two playoff games, as many times as he has appeared in his career so far. He lost his first round of the playoffs to the 2017 Rams and his 2020 Bears.

On Sunday, he could win the Super Bowl.

“Surreal,” he said. “Looking back, he was 2-14 in his rookie year,” he said. “It’s two different ends of the spectrum that make the Super Bowl. At Year 12, we try to enjoy the moment and appreciate it all….

“I’m sure they’ll finally start attacking me once I set foot in the stadium.”


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Written by Natalia Chi

Chicago Popular; Chicago breaking news, weather and live video. Covering local politics, health, traffic and sports for Chicago, the suburbs and northwest Indiana.

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