After the Philadelphia Eagles released Robert Quinn, another pass rusher in a free agency class rich with mid-tier edge defenders that could play as well as starters but aren’t regarded as long-term solutions is on the market. Quinn has a strong history of success, especially early in his career, but he became a valuable rotational player with the Philadelphia Eagles.
Quinn has been on two Super Bowl teams but hasn’t yet won a ring. He could be the final piece that puts the team over the top, or he could supplement a pass rush full of young, unproven talent that needs a seasoned veteran to help them along.
Let’s take a look at the best free agency landing spots for Quinn.
Robert Quinn Landing Spots
Returning to the Bears wouldn’t be a bad thing, as they need multiple pass rushers. Quinn was upset and frustrated when the Bears traded him, according to Josh Schrock of NBC Sports. But time tends to heal a lot of wounds, especially when contracts are on the line. As Quinn told NBC Sports, “It was well worth it,” characterizing the ups and downs in Chicago as being “just life.”
Though the Bears signed DeMarcus Walker, it’s a bit much to expect him to be a full-time starter out of the gate. Not only would signing Quinn give them some immediate pass-rush capability, but he would also allow them to avoid forcing a pick in the draft if there was a pass rusher that they didn’t feel was a good fit.
As Chicago ramps up their offense to better enable Justin Fields, they also need to do more on defense to make sure the offense isn’t carrying the full load. So far, they’ve done that and have used their expansive cap well. But the job isn’t done.
Kansas City Chiefs
After releasing Frank Clark, the Chiefs have an open edge rusher spot. Though Quinn is better served as a complementary rusher rather than as a primary rusher, the hope would be that he could help enable promising second-year player George Karlaftis as he and Chris Jones collapse the pocket. Quinn has played on a number of winning franchises, and adding the Chiefs to that list would be pretty fun.
On top of that, he plays edge rusher in the way a number of Steve Spagnuolo edge rushers play, with a lot of bend and explosiveness. Though Quinn is coming off of a less productive year than we’re used to seeing, playing on a Chiefs defense that will see opponents drop back more often in order to keep up should open pass-rush opportunities.
The Ravens have specialized in pairing their rookie contract edge rushers with seasoned veterans to enable their pass rush, and Quinn seems like an excellent fit.
As we pointed out in our Top 100 Free Agent rankings, former Ravens defender Yannick Ngakoue plays very similarly to Quinn. Quinc could fill that role while David Ojabo continues to develop and Odafe Oweh finds the balance that made him so effective as a rookie.
Notably, the Ravens hired previously independent pass-rushing coach Chuck Smith. When announcing the hire, head coach John Harbaugh released a statement where he said, “Chuck is a proven and highly-respected pass-rush coach who many pro and collegiate players have sought guidance from.” Quinn has been one of those clients.
Baltimore will need to find bargains as they approach the cap and manage the Lamar Jackson contract situation. Having an edge rusher like Quinn on call, who seems like a good candidate to outperform his likely contract slot, would be a great move.
Speaking of Ngakoue, Quinn could replace the former Colt in Indianapolis. The Colts are still excited about what Kwity Paye can do but need to put a rotation of pass rushers around him to really make that front more fearsome.
Quinn could allow the Colts’ defense to return to the heights they were at under Matt Eberflus a few years ago, especially as they look for ways to boost the defense without star cornerback Stephon Gilmore.
Los Angeles Rams
Failing that, Quinn could return to the Rams, who released Leonard Floyd — another complementary-type pass rusher — and finish out a career with the team who drafted him. That would have to be another relationship that needs repairing, as he felt betrayed by the trade that sent him to Miami in 2018.
But with more years — and trades — behind him, it might be a bit easier for Quinn to swallow the business-like nature of the NFL and find himself reuniting with teammates he enjoyed playing with, especially Aaron Donald.