Philadelphia Eagles General manager Howie Roseman kept his trade deadline alive on Wednesday Chicago Bears acquisition of pass rusher Robert Quinn 2023 in exchange for a fourth-round pick. NFL Network first reported the move.
Our Eagles writers Bo Wolf and Zach Berman react to the deal.
Wolf: Howie beat us. Zach and I were in the middle of writing our article on trading targets to be published Thursday morning. Shame on you for being so slow.
As we’ve talked about on “Birds With Friends” over the past few weeks, the pass rush has always felt like a more realistic target for an impact move based on Roseman’s team-building philosophies and roster makeup. This doesn’t mean Roseman is done — a pass-protection running back, deep safety or rotational defensive tackle are all still possibilities — but it feels like a big move. Putting his chips in when Roseman senses opportunity is in his DNA, the Eagles are certainly 6-0 NFC favorites.
After Derek Barnett Suffering a season-ending ACL tear in Week 1, the Eagles were without a reliable fourth edge rusher. Quinn was their answer to that problem. That means 17.2 snaps per game (credit Zach Berman). Darren Jackson And Patrick Johnson The last five weeks will mostly go to Quinn. Importantly, the Eagles can now reverse snaps Hassan Reddick, Josh sweats And Brandon Graham Little. Sweat is playing 64 percent this season, up from 58 percent a year ago. Redick plays 68 percent of the snaps and Graham 43. For a team looking to play deep in January or beyond, it’s important to keep the big picture in mind. Less reps now means better reps down the road, in theory.
As for Quinn, Roseman is betting his 2021 will be closer. Quinn finished second DJ Watt 18.5 sacks last season. He hit the quarterback 23 times on 377 pass-rush snaps (6.1 percent), per TrueMedia. In 2022, the 32-year-old has just three quarterback hits (one sack) on 159 pass-rush snaps (1.9 percent). Only two edge rushers in the league (Yetur Gross-Matos And Odafe Oweh) has a low production rate with as many snaps as Quinn. Apparently, Philadelphia’s personnel department believes those numbers are misleading and Quinn will be unlocked by the Eagles, where he’s less likely to be the focal point of opposing offensive game plans. After finishing 31st in the league in sack rate a season ago, the Eagles’ pass rush is up to 12th this year.
Robert Quinn 101: A Bears Pass Rusher’s Career of Sacks
Grade: B+. It’s hard to explain the drastic drop in production from the outside looking in, but it’s also hard to believe that a player who averaged 18.5 sacks a year ago could fall off the cliff so quickly. The good news is that the Eagles aren’t asking him to come in and solve their pass-rush problems. The update is complete Jackson and Johnson, Quinn will do well. It makes sense as a continuation of their team-building philosophy. Also worth noting is the reaction that trades have received in the bears’ building Roquan Smith is emotional After the contract. There’s a lot of guesswork in offseason trades in the NFL. But the learning curve for changing reform programs is low, and the personality here seems more like a plus than a question mark.
Berman: This was the best move for the Eagles to make. They could use help at edge rusher based on the importance of the position, the rotation they use and the fact that the incoming player won’t displace an established contributor (see playing time note above). It is a condition that does not require a major transition period. Quinn might have been the best short-term solution at the deadline. (Brian Burns And Bradley Sup (There are different conversations based on age, though both require higher compensation and a significant financial commitment.)
In Quinn, the Eagles add a proven player. He is one of seven players in the NFL with at least 100 career sacks. They have to account for a dip in production this season, but the record is worth betting on, and edge rushers are getting old. He’s playing 68 percent of Chicago’s defensive snaps this season. He’ll likely be used as a situational pass rusher in Philadelphia, which would be more conducive to production at this point in his career.
Given the way the Eagles have played this season, Quinn has a chance to influence games. Philadelphia has a 14-point lead through six games. Sustaining that momentum will be difficult, but it’s reasonable to expect the Eagles to play with a lead in the second half. Enemies must pass through them. The Eagles have 10 second-half sacks this season, though have only had one in the last two games when the opposition was ahead in the fourth quarter. Quinn needs to help change this number. Philadelphia has a back four of Reddick, Sweatt, Quinn and Graham that gives them depth and flexibility that can make a difference in big games.
Bears trade Robert Quinn to Eagles: Why it makes sense, what’s next
Compensation (fourth round pick) is reasonable. He could be a rental — there are no guarantees in Quinn’s contract — but it’s a reasonable cost for a player of Quinn’s pedigree in this situation. Roseman won’t have to dip into his selection pool on Days 1 and 2 the next two seasons, which should be considered a plus. That leaves them short on Day 3 picks in 2023, though Roseman found ways to make up for it during the offseason. The Eagles gave Jay Ajayi a fourth-round pick in 2017 and saw him as someone who could help them next season as well. They traded a third-round pick for Golden Tate in 2018 and tried to justify it based on the possibility of landing a compensatory pick if he left in free agency. No justification is required for this action. It was created to boost the Super Bowl contender’s undefeated roster. That’s the kind of trade a contender has to make, and it’s not hard to see Quinn making a game-changing move at a key moment.
Grade: A-. It would be hypocritical of me to mark this as anything other than a good grade, considering what I said in “Parts with Friends” that the edge rusher should be their top priority and Quinn as a player to target. Quinn’s decline in production drops it from an A to an A-minus, but I can’t say too much — he’s probably the best realistic option at a premium position. I love this move, Eagles fans should encourage a swing.
(Photo: Robin Alam / Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)