The Philadelphia Eagles bolstered their pass rush ahead of the November 1 trade deadline by acquiring three-time Pro Bowler and two-time All-Pro Robert Quinn from the Chicago Bears, as first reported by Mike Garafolo and Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. Philadelphia is sending a 2023 fourth-round pick the other way, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
As a result, the Eagles currently hold no draft picks in the fourth through sixth rounds of the draft. However, the Bears are also footing a large part of the financial bill according to Garafolo.
That means the Eagles should retain most of their cap space, which had been in the neighborhood of $10 million for this season, according to Over the Cap. The trade amounts to a gamble on being able to get Quinn’s productivity back up.
Quinn was one of the league’s best pass rushers last year, racking up 18.5 sacks, but he’s been off to a slow start in 2022 with just 1.0 sack through seven games. Quinn had just 2.0 sacks in 2020, but notched 11.5 with the Cowboys in 2019.
If the Eagles can get anywhere close to the level of production Quinn had last year, this trade amounts to a steal. If Quinn continues on his current pace, the fourth round pick could look like a steep price.
The Bears did change defensive schemes this year from a 3-4 to a 4-3, so Quinn changed from an outside linebacker to a defensive end. That’s according to their official website. That said, a look at his highlight reel shows Quinn having success both as a stand-up rusher and with a hand in the dirt.
Another possible explanation for the drop-off is facing more double teams.
That’s a good sign, as opposing teams wouldn’t still be double-teaming Quinn if they didn’t believe he was a threat. With the Eagles already having several top-notch pass rushers, Quinn may not face as many double teams in Philadelphia.
An NFC South personnel executive told Heavy Sports NFL insider Matt Lombardo, “Quinn is a really good fit there, he won’t take as many snaps, won’t need to be a full-time player, and that will keep him fresh. Especially late in games.”
Editor’s Note: The remainder of this story was published prior to the Eagles’ trade for Robert Quinn on Wednesday afternoon, October 26.
Eagles Were Rumored to Have Interest in Other Pass Rushers
While Quinn’s name has always been among those that make sense for the Eagles on the defensive end market leading up to the deadline, two acquisitions stood head and shoulders above the rest in terms of long-term value: Denver Broncos outside linebacker Bradley Chubb and Carolina Panthers defensive end Brian Burns.
This move certainly makes either of those unlikely, although it does give the Eagles a bit more leverage if they want to trade for a pass rusher of the future, as it’s nowhere near a pressing need anymore. That said, if Eagles general manager Howie Roseman wants Chubb, he may need to move quickly.
If the Broncos fall to the Jaguars on Sunday morning, they’ll be down to 2-6. That’s enough to turn them into sellers, and if that transpires, the Broncos want to move fast, according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk.
It’s hard to say whether that timing would benefit the Eagles or not. Nobody knows for sure who they prefer between Chubb and Burns, but there has been reporting that the Eagles have called about Burns, whereas Chubb is just known to be available and makes sense for Philadelphia.
If the Eagles do prefer Burns, their problem is that the asking price is extremely high. Given the option of trading two first-round picks for the 24-year-old Burns or something like a second and third-rounder for the 26-year-old Chubb, it’s easy to see the Eagles choosing the older player.
Of course, it’s also possible that Roseman would want to use the availability of Chubb as leverage to force the Panthers’ to accept a lesser offer. If so, the hastiness in Denver could work against him.
There’s also the question of salary compensation, as both players would need to be extended – Chubb sooner. In fact, that gives Chubb leverage over a potential trade.
While multiple teams have called the Broncos, Chubb’s willingness to sign a long-term extension with a given suitor will determine whether they’re willing to pull the trigger, according to Jordan Schultz of The Score.
Brian Burns & Bradley Chubb Also Slightly Different Scheme Fits
Most discussion around Burns has him playing primarily with a hand in the dirt as a defensive end. That’s the Eagles most immediate need, given that the main reason these deals are being discussed is that they lost some depth when defensive end Derek Barnett went down for the season.
However, the Eagles defensive scheme values versatility. They can send pressure from the linebacker position with Haason Reddick, but he’s their only real stand-up pass rusher.
Chubb on the other hand is playing outside linebacker for the Broncos in a 3-4 scheme, which means he’s often rushing the passer. However, he played with a hand in the dirt on the line in college at North Carolina State and should be able to do so again.
As a result, Chubb could rotate with Reddick at outside linebacker, as well as with Brandon Graham and Josh Sweat at defensive end. That means that he could get onto the field more than Burns, unless the Eagles believe Burns can do both as well.
Given that Graham can also move inside on passing downs, the Eagles could potentially line up Chubb, Graham, Fletcher Cox, and Sweat on the defensive line in passing situations with Reddick at outside linebacker.
That’s a fearsome pass rush.
Bradley Chubb on Pace for Career Year
Chubb has been impressing both the old-school football analysts and the analytics-focused analysts this season. With 5.5 sacks, eight quarterback hits, and 24 tackles through seven games, Chubb is on pace for 13 sacks, 19 quarterback hits, and 58 tackles. That would be a new career high in sacks, and just a hair below his career highs in the other two categories.
Meanwhile, among the analytics bunch, Chubb grades out as the 11th-best pass rusher among edge defenders according to Pro Football Focus, with a grade of 83. As a point of reference for Eagles fans, Reddick grades out at 86 and Graham at 85.
If the Eagles added Chubb, they would be one of two teams with three of the top-15 pass rushers by grade. The Buffalo Bills, the only team favored over the Eagles to win the Super Bowl, are the other with Boogie Basham, Gregory Rousseau, and Von Miller.