In the wake of J.J. Watt‘s lucrative new contract extension with the Texans, the Rams have also broached the idea of a new deal for their star defensive lineman, according to Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com (Twitter link), who says the team has exchanged contract numbers with Robert Quinn. However, the two sides aren’t close to anything at the moment, says La Canfora.
Quinn, 24, is coming off the best season of his three-year career, having racked up 19 sacks, 57 tackles, and seven forced fumbles in 2013, en route to earning spots in the Pro Bowl and on the All-Pro first team. As was the case with Watt, Pro Football Focus’ data (subscription required) clearly displayed that Quinn was the most impactful player at his position last season — his +74.6 grade dwarfed Greg Hardy‘s +25.6 mark, which was good for second among 4-3 defensive ends. While a handful of other players would be in the conversation, you could make the case that Quinn is the NFL’s best defensive player behind Watt.
As such, La Canfora observes that it seems unlikely the former 14th overall pick would agree to a new contract worth less than $15MM per year, which would put him right near the top of the list of the league’s highest-paid pass-rushers, and defensive players in general.
Because he was a 2011 first-rounder, Quinn remains under contract for two more years, with the Rams having exercised their fifth-year option to keep him through 2015. Given the lack of urgency to get something done, the two sides may ultimately decide to wait until after the season to reopen talks if they don’t find common ground by this Sunday.