With just three games remaining in the 2021 season, the Chicago Bears are gearing up for some big change within the organization. Head coach Matt Nagy appears on his way out, and it looks like general manager Ryan Pace might not be far behind. There’s also been reports that the Bears are considering restructuring the front office.
But there are also going to be some changes on the roster, where familiar faces are likely on their way out of town, be it through free agency or potentially a trade.
Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune speculated that we could see some movement at outside linebacker this offseason, dependent upon whether the Bears are in full rebuild mode and what changes happen within the front office.
I have raised that question in recent weeks because if the Bears are in a full rebuild during the offseason, I’m not sure they will want to pay two pass rushers over age 30. Quinn does not have any guaranteed money remaining on his contract, but his base salary for 2022 is $12.8 million, and he has a $100,000 workout bonus, which would mean the Bears would need to move a super-hefty contract. In other words, they might not get a premium draft pick in return.
Keep an eye on Khalil Mack and Quinn and wait to see if something happens to the front office and what moves the Bears make. There will be some clues in February and early March.
Quinn’s trade value will never be higher than it is right now, as he’s been playing lights out this season. Quinn with 16 sacks, second most in the NFL, and is nearing Richard Dent’s single-season sack record with the Bears. He was also just named to the Pro Bowl. Oh, not to mention he’s doing it without Mack opposite him.
While Chicago likely won’t be able to get a first-round pick for Quinn — Von Miller cost a second- and third-round pick — if a new GM is in place, a similar price could be appealing. Not to mention, trading him post-June 1 would result in a $12.9 million cap savings.
While Mack’s hype has cooled down, he was in the middle of a bounce back season of his own before a foot injury sidelined him for the remainder of the season. Mack is someone who could also garner some appealing draft capital as a post-June 1 trade, and he would free up $17.5 million in cap savings, although he’d carry a dead-cap hit of $12.4 million.
Ultimately, the Bears could decide to keep both on the roster to keep some consistency on defense and focus on retooling the offense. But regardless, this offseason is shaping up to be one with a lot of potential change.
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