The Bears said goodbye Tuesday to former first-round disappointment Leonard Floyd and hello to former first-round dynamo pass rusher Robert Quinn. Here are 5 things to know about Quinn, Chicago's new Khalil Mack complement.
1. Originally selected out of North Carolina No. 14 overall by the then-St. Louis Rams in the 2011 draft, Quinn racked up 45 sacks in his first four seasons, including three with double digits and an NFC-best 19 in his third season, when he led the NFL with 23 tackles for loss. He didn't return to double-digit sacks until 2019, when following a trade from Miami to Dallas, Quinn led the Cowboys with 11.5 sacks and 35 QB pressures. Quinn's most productive pass-rushing campaigns have been as a defensive end, whereas he'll be asked to play outside linebacker with the Bears. But he's never had an outside rush complement like Mack before, and Quinn is fresh of the second-best statistical campaign of his career.
2. While Quinn's raw pass-rush production last season was outstanding in and of itself, the advanced metrics are even more flattering. His 14 percent pressure rate was ranked second in the NFL, trailing only Packers EDGE Z'Adarius Smith, and Quinn finished fifth in the league with an average "get-off" on his pass rushes of .8 seconds, per Next Gen Stats. Both metrics compare favorably to Mack last season. Meantime, no Quinn as led the NFL in ESPN's pass-rush win rate each of the past two seasons, making him the darling of the football analytics community (data from ESPN Analytics). Add him alongside Mack, Akiem Hicks and Roy Robertson-Harris or Bilal Nichols in a sub-rush package and look out, opposing quarterbacks.
3. A variety of ailments have forced Quinn to miss time in four of the past five seasons, but to understand his toughness, one must know about his past. In his senior of high school, noting regular headaches, Quinn went to the doctor and it was discovered that he had a dime-sized brain tumor pressing on his spinal cavity, preventing the regular flow of fluids. After being told by doctors he's was at risk of brain damage, he told CBS in 2013, he underwent surgery during which two holes were drilled to drain the fluids. He was back playing football and wrestling by the next year. Quinn was briefly hospitalized during the 2016 season with a non-football illness his coach at the time Jeff Fisher said was "very unlikely" related to the benign brain tumor he lives with to this day.
4. Quinn and fellow Bears newcomer Nick Foles were former Rams teammates, but while it's true he joins MItch Trubisky as the only current North Carolina products on the roster, they didn't overlap in Chapel Hill. Yet speaking of newcomers and new teammates, one of Quinn's most recognizable plays in the NFL began lined up across from Bears new TE Jimmy Graham, at the time a soaring star with the Saints. After Graham pancaked Quinn off the snap (seriously), the pass rusher recovers in an instant by crawling on his knees before returning to his feet in time for a pass rusher's Holy Trinity — strip, sack and recovery — against NFL passing champion Drew Brees.
5. A native of Charleston, South Carolina, Quinn was a three-time state champion wrestler at Fort Dorchester before committing to play for Butch Davis' Tarheels. After racking up 13 sacks, 25.5 TFLs and 8 forced fumbles from 2008-09, Quinn, as well as fellow former NFL WR Greg Little, was declared permanently ineligible by the NCAA for accepting improper benefits. The school was sanctioned in 2012.