LAKE FOREST – One of the biggest questions early for the Bears in training camp was answered when they took the field at Halas Hall on Wednesday afternoon.
That’s when defensive end Robert Quinn joined the team for his first workout since the end of the 2021 season. This past offseason, the team’s record-holder for sacks in a single campaign, worked out on his own, including the mandatory mini-camp in June.
But Quinn was out there and ready to participate with a new-look team with a brand new coaching staff that will employ a 4-3 defense in 2022.
So the biggest question at his news conference was whether he asked to be traded, knowing that he was coming off a great year on a team that’s in rebuild mode.
“I’ve been traded twice. You get tired of moving. I thought I did a good job last year, but I guess I’ll just continue to try to re-prove myself,” said Quinn in response to a question on whether he asked to be traded. “I expect to be here, but I guess if not, well, that’s out of my control. But I’ll just take it day-by-day and have fun here with the guys and just let life take its course.”
So does Quinn still want to be with the Bears?
“Yeah. I never expected to go anywhere,” said Quinn when asked that question. “Again, like I said before, in all honesty, I never expected to leave the Rams either, but I’m on my third team since there so it’s a business, I do know that.”
Whether he’s traded eventually is still to be seen, but for now, he’s taking part in the workouts and ready to contribute as one of best returning players on the Bears. Te Pro Bowlers could have staged a “hold-in” – attending meetings and other activities while not taking the field for practice – but Quinn chose to take part and start preparing for his third Bears season.
He’s playing on the third of a five-year deal he signed in the 2020 offseason, doing so after breaking Richard Dent’s 37-year-old single-season sack record in 2021 (18.5). Some were wondering if he might have not wanted to continue with a new regime and a team with lower odds to make the playoffs with a revamped roster.
On Wednesday, Quinn insisted that skipping the offseason was about self-maintenance than any demand on the Bears.
“More just trying to take care of my body, give myself right mentally,” said Quinn of his reason for skipping mandatory mini-camp. “It’s my 12th year. Kinda knew what to expect from that. More about just getting myself right, mentally, physically.”