A source, a trusted source for many years, sent me a text.
“Quinn. Big money. Floyd cut.”
The lack of words was jarring but I knew what it meant. This was happening quickly. To Twitter I went!
Feels weird to Tweet about football because there are just bigger things happening. But I’m guessing Leonard Floyd is not long for the Bears and they’ll add pass rush help. A Robert Quinn type.
— DaBearsBlog (@dabearsblog) March 17, 2020
Within minutes, Ian Rapoport broke the news of Robert Quinn signing a massive deal with the Bears. Within minutes of that, Adam Schefter broke the news of the Bears cutting Leonard Floyd.
Unless you’re one of those folks who obsesses over the salary cap, there’s simply no way to criticize the Quinn signing. He is one of the best pure pass rushers in the sport and solidifies one of the best front sevens in the game. This was an ideal free agency move for Ryan Pace because pass rush prospects – even mediocre ones – go early in the NFL Draft. Teams happily leverage future draft picks to acquire them. The Bears were unlikely to find ten sacks in the second round (or later). Now they don’t have to.
As for Floyd, for years he has frustrated many inside the walls of Halas Hall. He is a superior athlete and that athleticism has allowed him to develop into one of the best edge coverage guys in the league. But playing on the edge in NFL requires more than covering backs and tight ends. You must get to the quarterback. You must disrupt the passing game. And Floyd doesn’t do that. He’s a sloppy pass rusher, often out of control when he manages to evade blockers. In 2019, with Khalil Mack struggling through injuries for most of the season, Chuck Pagano implored Floyd to anchor the team’s rush. He could not.
The Bears still have major questions on the offensive side of the ball, and many of them will be answered in the next month or so. But the moves they made yesterday fortified their organizational strength. The 2020 vintage of the Bears will be led by their defense, led by their pass rush. Because Quinn and Mack will be the most feared duo in the NFL.