Robert Quinn landing spots: Cowboys, Ravens make sense for veteran Bears pass rusher

Robert Quinn isn't reporting to the Bears' minicamp, so which teams are potential landing spots if Chicago trades the veteran edge defender?

Robert Quinn isn’t planning to report for the Chicago Bears’ mandatory workouts this week, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. Already mentioned in trade rumors earlier this offseason, the veteran edge rusher seems likely to be either dealt or released. Which teams around the league stand out as potential landing spots for Quinn?

Robert Quinn’s potential landing spots

Quinn posted one of the best seasons of his career in 2021, finishing second in the league with 18.5 sacks while earning a second-team All-Pro nod. But at 32 years old, he’s not a fit for a Bears team in the midst of an all-out rebuild. Chicago already traded Khalil Mack, cut Eddie Goldman and Danny Trevathan, and allowed Akiem Hicks to leave in free agency.

The Bears would realize $12.9 million in cap savings by trading or releasing Quinn. Any team that acquires him would be on the hook for his $12.8 million base salary. However, Chicago may be willing to eat some of that total to land better draft pick compensation.

Which teams could be eyeing a Quinn trade? Here are a few ideas.

Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys are intimately familiar with Quinn, as they’ve acquired him in the past. They sent a sixth-round pick to the Miami Dolphins in exchange for Quinn before the 2019 campaign. He put up 11.5 sacks for Dallas, leading to his five-year, $70 million deal with the Bears.

DeMarcus Lawrence will handle one EDGE spot for the Cowboys, but the other side is up for grabs. Free agent signing Dante Fowler Jr. and second-round pick Sam Williams will see reps, and Micah Parsons will get plenty of pass-rushing attempts. However, Quinn would represent an upgrade over Fowler and Williams while allowing defensive coordinator Dan Quinn to keep using Parsons in versatile ways.

Baltimore Ravens

Recent reports have indicated the Ravens are still hunting for an additional pass rusher, and they met with Jason Pierre-Paul last week. However, the free agent EDGE market is rather thin, with Carlos Dunlap, Trey Flowers, Alex Okafor, and Takkarist McKinley joining JPP as readily available options.

Quinn is better than any of those players, and Baltimore desperately needs additional depth in the front seven. 2021 first-round pick Odafe Oweh had offseason shoulder surgery, while fellow pass rusher Tyus Bowser is recovering from a torn Achilles. The Ravens stole Calais Campbell from the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2019 in exchange for a fifth-round pick, and they could make a similar trade for Quinn.

Arizona Cardinals

If there’s one thing we know about Cardinals general manager Steve Keim, it’s that he values experience. J.J. Watt, DeAndre Hopkins, Zach Ertz, A.J. Green, Rodney Hudson, Markus Golden, Kelvin Beachum…if you’re a veteran, Keim is probably interested.

Arizona is among the most blitz-heavy teams in the NFL, so they might feel like they don’t need an established edge rusher. But in a competitive NFC West, they can probably do better than Golden and Dennis Gardeck on the edge. Quinn would slot in as an immediate starter, pushing Golden and Gardeck down the depth chart while giving third-round rookie Myjai Sanders time to develop.

Carolina Panthers

The Panthers don’t project as contenders this season. But with head coach Matt Rhule trying to save his job, a desperate trade for a veteran could be in the cards. Carolina currently has the second-most cap space in the league, so they could easily fit Quinn’s contract on their books.

After allowing Haason Reddick to walk in free agency, the Panthers will give former second-round pick Yetur Gross-Matos the opportunity to start at defensive end opposite Brian Burns. Quinn could take those starting reps, allowing Gross-Matos to play on a rotational basis.

Carolina has a young foundation in place on defense in Burns, Jaycee Horn, Jeremy Chinn, and Derrick Brown. Quinn could be the final piece that allows the unit to leap into the top 10 league-wide.

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