Bears pass rusher Robert Quinn underperforming his big contract

Quinn has one sack in nine games after signing a five-year, $70-million deal in March.
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By 670 The Score

(670 The Score) On his first snap in a Bears uniform, veteran pass rusher Robert Quinn ripped his way past Giants rookie tackle Andrew Thomas and recorded a strip-sack of quarterback Daniel Jones.

What seemed to be a tone-setter for Quinn's tenure in Chicago has turned into an outlier. That remains his lone sack with the Bears, as he has now gone 307 straight plays without another. Quinn hasn't performed anywhere near his billing after signing a five-year, $70-million deal with Chicago in the offseason.

And the Bears aren't making any excuses for Quinn's underwhelming play to this point.

"With a player like Robert, we got to evaluate him based on the numbers," outside linebackers coach Ted Monachino said. "And right now, his numbers aren't where he wants them, where I want them or any of us in the city want it."

Bears general manager Ryan Pace had one big-money check he could write this past offseason. Rather than allocating those resources to a quarterback or tackle -- two apparent needs for the Bears this season -- Pace acquired Quinn.

Pace believed the Bears needed an upgrade for their defensive front, so released 2016 first-round pick Leonard Floyd and signed Quinn as his replacement. The 30-year-old Quinn was coming off a 2019 season with the Cowboys in which he recorded 11.5 sacks, the second-most of his career. Floyd had 18.5 sacks over four seasons with the Bears.

While Quinn has struggled to assert himself with the Bears, Floyd was named the NFC Defensive Player of the Week on Wednesday after recording thee sacks for the Rams in a win against the Seahawks on Sunday.

Floyd has already tied a career-high with seven sacks over nine games with the Rams, who signed him to a one-year, $10-million deal. In Los Angeles, Floyd reunited with former Bears outside linebackers coach Brandon Staley, who's now the Rams' defensive coordinator.

The Bears shouldn't have regrets over parting ways with Floyd as much as wonder for what the Rams have done right for him. But is it too early for Pace to have buyer's remorse for Quinn?

Quinn has played in just 44% of the Bears' defensive snaps over nine games after missing the season opener with an ankle injury. The Bears attempted to ease him back in his first two games coming off the injury, but Quinn has played in less than half the Bears' defensive snaps in five of the nine games he has played.

Quinn was limited in his workload during training camp due to undisclosed reasons. Since recovering from his ankle ailment, he hasn't been listed on the injury report in nearly two months. It's unclear if he's still privately dealing with injury issues.

In his team's loss to the Vikings on Monday, Quinn played in 52% of the Bears' defensive snaps. The team's goal is for Quinn to play "somewhat north of 50%" of the defensive snaps, Monachino said. For a player guaranteed $30 million of the Bears' money, is that enough?

Monachino wants Quinn to be judged in numbers and sees him close to producing.

"Before he can make three or four, he's got to make one," Monachino said. "It's been a long drought. Nobody's feeling that any more than Robert."

Note: The Bears claimed returner DeAndre Carter off waivers from the Texans on Wednesday. Carter, 26, has averaged 9.5 yards over 59 returns in his career. He's set to fill a void at punt returner after Dwyane Harris suffered what's believed to be a triceps in a loss to the Vikings on Monday night.

Chris Emma covers the Bears, Chicago’s sports scene and more for 670TheScore.com. Follow him on Twitter @CEmma670.