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Eagles bolster pass rush, acquire Robert Quinn from Bears: trade rankings

Philadelphia Eagles general manager Howie Roseman kept his trade delay streak alive on Wednesday with the acquisition of Chicago Bears passing thrower Robert Quinn in exchange for a 2023 fourth-round draft pick. NFL Network reported the move for the first time.

Our Eagles writers Bo Wulf and Zach Berman react to the deal.

Wolf: Howie beat us to it. Zach and I were in the process of writing our Business Goals article which was to be published Thursday morning when the news broke. Shame on us for being too slow.

As we’ve talked about on “Birds with Friends” for the past few weeks, the pass rush has always seemed like the most realistic target for an impact move given Roseman’s team-building philosophies and the composition of the list. That doesn’t necessarily mean Roseman is done — a pass-protecting running back, a deep safety or a spinning defensive tackle are always possibilities — but it looks like a big step. It’s in Roseman’s DNA to push his chips when he senses an opportunity, and the Eagles certainly have one as NFC favorites at 6-0.

After Derek Barnett suffered a season-ending ACL tear in Week 1, the Eagles were left without a reliable fourth rusher. Quinn is their answer to solving this problem. That means the 17.2 snaps per game (credit Zach Berman) that have gone to Tarron Jackson and Patrick Johnson over the past five weeks will mostly go to Quinn. Equally important, the Eagles can now push back the snaps of Haason Reddick, Josh Sweat and Brandon Graham a bit. Sweat is playing 64% of snaps this season, up from 58% a year ago. Reddick plays 68% of snaps and Graham 43. For a team aspiring to play until January or beyond, it’s important to keep the bigger picture in mind. Fewer reps now means better reps on the road, in theory.

As for Quinn, Roseman is betting he’ll be closer to himself in 2021. Quinn was second to TJ Watt last season with 18.5 sacks. He hit the quarterback 23 times out of 377 pass-rush snaps (6.1%), per TruMedia. In 2022, at the age of 32, he had just three quarterback hits (one sack) on 159 quick passes (1.9%). Only two top rushers in the league (Yetur Gross-Matos and Odafe Oweh) have a lower production rate with as many snaps as Quinn. Clearly, Philadelphia’s personnel department thinks those numbers are misleading and Quinn will be unlocked with the Eagles, where he’s less likely to be the focal point of opposing offensive game plans. After finishing 31st in the league in sack rate a season ago, the Eagles’ passing rush is in 12th place this year.

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Robert Quinn 101: A look back at the Bears Pass rusher’s sack career

Grade: B+. It’s hard to explain the huge drop in production from the outside, but it’s also hard to believe that a player with 18.5 sacks a year ago could fall off the cliff so precipitously. The good news is that the Eagles aren’t asking him to come and fix their passing issues. As an upgrade over Jackson and Johnson, Quinn will do just fine. This makes sense in line with their team building philosophy. Also noteworthy is the reaction the trade received in the Bears building, with Roquan Smith gets emotional following the agreement. There’s a lot of guesswork going into midseason NFL trades. But there’s less of a learning curve for a pattern-changing pass rusher, and it seems like personality here is a plus rather than a question mark.

Berman: It was the perfect shot for the Eagles to make. They could use some help at the edge of the rush given the importance of position, the rotation they use, and the fact that an incoming player wouldn’t displace an established contributor (see playing time note below). above). It is also a position that does not require a major transition period. And Quinn might have been the best short-term solution at Deadline. (Brian Burns and Bradley Chubb are different conversations based on age, though both would require more compensation and a significant financial commitment.)

In Quinn, the Eagles add a proven player. He is one of seven NFL players with at least 100 career sacks. They have to factor in the drop in production this season, but the record is worth betting on, and the rushers tend to age well. He plays 68% of defensive snaps in Chicago this season. He’ll likely be used as a situational passing thrower in Philadelphia, which might be more productive at this point in his career.

Considering the way the Eagles have played this season, Quinn has a chance to influence games. Philadelphia held a 14-point lead in all six games. It’s hard to keep up that pace, but it’s reasonable to expect the Eagles to play up front in the second half. Opponents will have to pass them on. The Eagles have 10 second-half sacks this season, although they only had one in the last two games when the opponents took their lead in the fourth quarter. Quinn should help change that number. Philadelphia has a top four of Reddick, Sweat, Quinn and Graham, giving it depth and flexibility that could be the difference in big games.

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Bears trade Robert Quinn for Eagles: Why it makes sense and what’s next

The compensation (a fourth-round pick) is reasonable. It may just be a rental – Quinn no longer has guaranteed money on his contract – but it’s a fair cost for a player of Quinn’s pedigree in this situation. Roseman didn’t have to draw from his prime pool on Days 1 and 2 over the next two seasons, which should be considered a plus. That leaves them short of Day 3 picks in 2023, though Roseman may find ways to make up for that in the offseason. The Eagles traded a fourth-round pick for Jay Ajayi in 2017 and saw him as someone who could help them the following season as well. They traded a third-round pick for Golden Tate in 2018 and tried to rationalize it based on the possibility that they could land a compensatory pick if he left in free agency. It is not necessary to have a justification for this movement. It’s made to bolster an undefeated roster that’s a Super Bowl contender. It’s the type of trade a competitor should make, and it’s not hard to see Quinn making a game-changing play at a pivotal moment.

To note: A-. Considering I said on “Birds with Friends” that the edge rusher should be their top priority and presented Quinn as a target player, it would be hypocritical of me to mark this with anything other than a good note. Quinn’s drop in production takes her from an A to A minus, but I can’t quibble too much – he might be the best realistic option at a premium position. I love this move, and Eagles fans should be encouraged to do so.

(Photo: Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)


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