LAKE FOREST, Ill. — Chicago Bears linebacker Robert Quinn, who has been the subject of trade rumors throughout the offseason, was not in attendance for the team’s first day of mandatory minicamp Tuesday.
Quinn was the only player on Chicago’s 90-man roster not physically present for practice. The absence was not excused, according to coach Matt Eberflus, who said he has communicated with the 32-year-old pass-rusher in recent weeks but did not specify why Quinn was a no-show.
“We’re not talking about that as an organization,” Eberflus said. “We hoped he would be here. He’s not. [General manager] Ryan [Poles] and his staff are going to work through that.”
Quinn set Chicago’s single-season record for sacks with 18.5 in 2021. He did not participate in any part of the Bears’ offseason program but stated his desire to remain with the organization amid massive changes with the roster and coaching staff this offseason.
“The only thing I thought of was hopefully my résumé or my production from last year gives me a little weight to keep my foot in the building,” Quinn said April 26. “At the end of the day, it’s a business. Again, you see Khalil Mack getting traded. I mean, you probably gotta, again, it’s just a business. Don’t dwell on it too crazy.”
When asked directly about wanting to stay in Chicago, Quinn said, “I didn’t expect to go anywhere, or want to go anywhere, but again, this is a crazy business.”
Earlier this offseason, Poles implied that Quinn was a part of the team’s plans for 2022 and said talks of trying to trade him had not come up before the draft.
Quinn, an 11-year veteran, has been with Chicago since 2020. With three years remaining on his current contract, which comes with a $12.8 million base salary this season, the Bears would clear $12.9 million in salary-cap space if they opt to trade the linebacker. Chicago would then have the second-most cap space in the NFL with an estimated $37 million.
The Bears wrap up their offseason program Thursday at the conclusion of minicamp. While Quinn’s absence raises questions about whether he’ll be with Chicago for training camp or end up traded in the next two months, it did not come as a surprise to one of his teammates.
“Not really. It’s Rob,” safety Eddie Jackson said. “He’s been in the league for a while, and I’m pretty sure he has his reasons. We’re just waiting on him to come back. We know he’s going to come back in tip-top.”