Robert Quinn

Extra Points: Steelers, Bell, Giants, OBJ, Collins, Dolphins, Quinn

Le’Veon Bell appears likely to again remain away from the Steelers all summer. Similarly to last year, he’s expected to show up right before the regular season as he angles for a longterm extension that will make him the highest paid running back in league history.

Until he shows up, Bell won’t be signing his franchise tender. That’s in contrast to the other players who’ve been tagged such as Lamarcus Joyner, Demarcus Lawrence, and Ezekiel Ansah, who have all signed their tenders. If there’s no progress on a longterm deal and the relationship between the two sides sour, the Steelers could even rescind Bell’s tender before he signs it and play the 2018 season without him, says Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com. While Florio says that option “remains unlikely”, he thinks it’s a possibility and notes it would put Bell in a “tough spot” as most teams’ salary caps and rosters would be set by then.

It’s a long-shot, but the Steelers seem to think they need Bell less than everyone else. Crazier things have happened.

Here’s more from around the league:

East Notes: Dolphins, Pouncey, Cowboys

A look at some items out of the AFC and NFC East:

  • The Dolphins have replaced Mike Pouncey with Daniel Kilgore, but they do not believe that they have lost an elite center. “Mike was maybe the best or second-best center in the league two or three years ago,” a team source told Armando Salguero of The Miami Herald. Kilgore, they feel, will give Miami a bump in run blocking, but not necessarily in pass protection. He also brings more size to the position and is something of an iron addict whereas Pouncey was never an enthusiastic weight room guy.
  • New Dolphins defensive end Robert Quinn says he was “pretty much shocked, honestly” upon learning that he had been traded from the Rams to the Dolphins (Twitter links via Salguero). “It’s like this, this is the first time I’ve been traded. You commit yourself to someone and you have your family turn their back on you,” Quinn said. Quinn, 28 in May, racked up 8.5 sacks in 15 games for L.A. last season. He has 62.5 career sacks to his credit, dating back to 2011. The Bucs and Browns also explored trades for Quinn before he was shipped to Miami.
  • Defensive end Kony Ealy and the Cowboys remain in talks, Clarence Hill of the Star Telegram tweets. However, it might take a couple of days before a decision is made.

Browns Tried To Trade For Robert Quinn

The Buccaneers weren’t the only team that tried (and failed) to trade for Rams edge rusher Robert Quinn. The Browns also attempted to land Quinn, according to Jenna Laine of ESPN.com, but both Tampa Bay and Cleveland ultimately lost out to the Dolphins, who acquired the veteran defensive end last week.Robert Quinn (Vertical)

The Browns own the most draft capital of any club in the NFL, so they likely could have topped any offer made by the Dolphins. Cleveland owns nine picks inside the top 150, while Miami sent fourth- and sixth-round picks to Los Angeles in exchange for Quinn and a sixth-rounder. However, the Browns only offered a fifth-round selection, tweets Laine.

Cleveland, notably, also possesses the most cap space in the league, meaning it could easily fit the remainder of Quinn’s contract on its books. Quinn, 27, is due roughly $24.377MM over the next two seasons.

In 2017, the Browns 17th in adjusted sack rate, 21st in sacks, and 23rd in pressure rate, and while Myles Garrett clearly fills one defensive end spot, Quinn would have joined a Cleveland edge rushing group that also includes Emmanuel Ogbah, Carl Nassib, and Nate Orchard. As he will with the Dolphins (and would’ve with the Buccaneers), Quinn will now shift back to a 4-3 scheme after spending last with the Rams in a 3-4 front.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bucs Explored Trade For DE Robert Quinn

The Buccaneers looked into trading for defensive end Robert Quinn before the Rams dealt him to the Dolphins, according to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com (Twitter link).Robert Quinn (Vertical)

The Rams eventually landed a 2018 fourth- and sixth-round picks in exchange for Quinn and a 2018 sixth-rounder. Tampa Bay, however, only offered a fourth-round choice, tweets Jenna Laine of ESPN.com.

While the Bucs weren’t able to land Quinn, there interest denotes a clear need to add pass rushers this offseason. As I noted when assessing Tampa Bay’s most pressing roster needs, the Buccaneers finished dead last in sacks (22), adjusted sack rate, and pressure rate in 2017, leading the club to replace former defensive line coach Jay Hayes with Brentson Buckner.

Tampa Bay needs to address the interior of its defensive line after releasing Chris Baker (and have already been linked to free agent Dontari Poe), but if the team wants to add reinforcements on the edge, it won’t have many options on the free agent market. Demarcus Lawrence and Ezekiel Ansah will be taken off the board by franchise tags, leaving the Buccaneers to peruse second-tier defensive ends such as Adrian Clayborn, William Hayes, Trent Murphy, and Julius Peppers.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Rams To Trade Robert Quinn To Dolphins

The Rams have agreed to another big trade. They are going to ship Robert Quinn to the Dolphins in exchange for a mid-round pick, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports (Twitter links).

The Rams discussed dealing the eighth-year edge defender to the Chiefs for Marcus Peters, but the sides settled on a second- and fourth-round pick. Now, it looks like the Rams are getting a trade pick back to help compensate for the mid-rounders they sent for Peters and Sammy Watkins over the past several months.

Miami will send its fourth- and sixth-round picks to Los Angeles for Quinn and a sixth-rounder, Peter Schrager of NFL.com tweets. The Rams had three sixth-round picks in this draft, after collecting the third in the Peters deal, and it’s uncertain which one they will send to the Dolphins. The Dolphins also had two fourth-rounders after the Jay Ajayi trade as well, so it’s also not known which pick they agreed to include in this deal.

Quinn has two years and just more than $25MM remaining on his second NFL contract, and he’ll now return to a 4-3 scheme after spending 2017 in Wade Phillips‘ 3-4. While Quinn bounced back to start 14 games after being limited to fewer than 10 during the two prior years, he has not been the dominant force he was in St. Louis. But he will only be set for his age-28 season in 2018, so the Dolphins are betting the former first-round pick has some quality years left.

The former North Carolina prodigy compiled three straight seasons of 10-plus sacks from 2012-14, with that stretch peaking via 2013’s 19-sack season that placed Quinn on the top All-Pro team. He registered 8.5 sacks last season and has 62.5 for his career to go along with an impressive 21 forced fumbles (seven in that All-Pro slate). A back injury and a concussion limited Quinn to just 17 games during the 2015 and ’16 seasons.

This move is interesting financially for the Dolphins, who are projected to be $8MM-plus over the cap. They have given Jarvis Landry permission to find a trade and don’t look intent on carrying his $16.2MM franchise tag on their books. But Quinn is set for $12MM-plus cap numbers in each of the next two seasons. But none of that money is guaranteed.

With Quinn representing the third-highest cap hold on the Rams’ payroll, this will help a franchise that has multiple marquee UFAs it would like to retain in Watkins and Lamarcus Joyner and a looming extension for probably the best defensive player in football. The Rams entered Friday with $39.9MM in cap space.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

49ers, Browns Were Interested In Peters?

The Chiefs made another seismic trade this offseason, this time sending one of their best players to the Rams. But multiple other teams may have been interested in Marcus Peters prior to the Rams landing him.

Both the 49ers and Browns were interested in determining what it would cost to acquire the fourth-year cornerback, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (on Twitter). However, Rapoport and NFL.com’s Mike Garafolo describe (on Twitter) both teams’ interest as “lukewarm” in the All-Pro corner.

However, it’s clear the Rams pushed talks to a degree their reported competition wasn’t willing to.

Terez Paylor of the Kansas City Star reports (via Twitter) the Browns were not interested in bringing Peters to Cleveland. Additionally, the 49ers were interested, but both Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee (Twitter link) and Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com report San Francisco did not submit an offer to Kansas City for Peters.

The Rams’ talks advanced to the point the Chiefs were seeking to add another big name to their defense in Robert Quinn, along with a pick, Rapoport tweets. This would have been interesting because Quinn’s play has not been on the level it was during his Pro Bowl seasons during the mid-2010s and the pass-rushing talent makes far more than Peters does at this point. Unlike Kendall Fuller coming to K.C. in the Alex Smith trade, the Chiefs did not get much 2018 salary relief by unloading Peters, who is entering the fourth season of his rookie deal. Quinn is set to earn $12.4MM this season.

Both the 49ers and Browns have needs at corner. Each team already visited with Vontae Davis, and Maiocco notes the 49ers are likely to be connected to big-name corners — including free agent-to-be Trumaine Johnson — come March. The Rams will not retain Johnson, per Rapoport.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Rams Notes: Donald, Watkins, Johnson

The Rams’ offseason plans hinge greatly on getting an extension done with All-Pro defensive tackle Aaron Donald. However, team general manager Les Snead will not specify if he is the “first or last domino to fall,” ESPN’s Alden Gonzalez writes.

“What I do know is he is an important domino,” Snead said. It is likely Donald will become the highest-paid defender at some point this offseason, and the signing will dictate much of what the Rams can do with the rest of their salary cap.

Gonzalez also notes that a deal might have to wait until after Oakland resigns Khalil Mack for talks to begin to get serious. One of the frontrunners for 2017 Defensive Player of the Year, Donald is set to make $6.89MM in 2018, which is half of what Mack, who was taken eight spots higher than him in the 2014 NFL Draft, is expected to make.

Whenever Donald does ink a deal, there is no doubt he will be worth the pay raise. In his four seasons, the Pitt product has earned four Pro Bowl selections and has been named First Team All-Pro in each of the last three seasons. In 2017, Donald tied his career high with 11 sacks and furthered his reputation as the game’s top interior pass rusher.

Here is more from the Rams:

  • Gonzalez writes that using a franchise or transition tag on Sammy Watkins makes sense. Acquired by the Rams prior to the start of the 2017 campaign, Watkins provided a decent season eight touchdown grabs but only saw 67 targets. Another year in the high-powered offense will allow the fourth-year wideout to reach his potential after developing a better rapport with quarterback Jared Goff. The Rams traded a 2018 second-round pick and E.J. Gaines to the Bills for Watkins, and it would make sense they would want to see their investment for a full year in their system.
  • Snead can definitely see a scenario in which Trumaine Johnson returns to the team in 2018, Gonzalez reports. With Kayvon Webster out with an Achilles injury, it would make sense for the Rams to explore all options with the sixth-year cornerback. Gonzalez notes they would have to pay him like a top cornerback.
  • If Donald gets an extension, Watkins and Lamarcus Joyner are tagged, and Johnson is resigned, Gonzales thinks the team would look at parting with Robert Quinn or Mark Barron to make ends meet.

Extra Points: Ja. Peppers, Rams, Texans

Jabrill Peppers played both linebacker and cornerback at Michigan, but nearly all NFL teams view the draft-bound prospect as a safety, he told the Associated Press. Peppers is on board, saying, “I didn’t play safety, but I’m going to be a safety.” While one club informed Peppers it would use him at linebacker, another had an outside-the-box idea. “One team told me they thought I should play offense,” revealed Peppers, who did see time on that side of the ball at Michigan last season. Peppers rushed 27 times for 167 yards, caught two passes and scored three touchdowns. He also fared well in space as a punt returner, posting a Big Ten-leading 14.8-yard average on runbacks.

More from around the game:

  • Ravens college scouting director Joe Hortiz is the Rams’ top choice to take over the same position in Los Angeles, reports CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora (all Twitter links). The Rams have shown interest in Hortiz in the past, notes La Canfora, who adds that Baltimore wouldn’t be able to prevent him from leaving. Los Angeles started reshuffling its scouting department when it dismissed four evaluators on April 9.
  • The Rams are also making changes on the field, with several familiar names apparently set to switch positions as the Sean McVay era begins, according to Myles Simmons of the team’s website. Contrary to a prior report, the signing of left tackle Andrew Whitworth will not force Greg Robinson to shift to guard; rather, Robinson will head to right tackle, leaving Rob Havenstein to move inside. Elsewhere, cornerback Lamarcus Joyner will play free safety and Maurice Alexander will take over at strong safety in the wake of the team’s addition of Nickell Robey-Coleman, who’s primed to handle Joyner’s old job as a slot corner. Finally, Robert Quinn is transitioning from defensive end to outside linebacker, though his role as a pass rusher will remain the same.
  • Utah offensive tackle Garett Bolles visited the Texans on Monday, tweets Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. With potential first-rounders in Bolles, Alabama’s Cam Robinson and Wisconsin’s Ryan Ramczyk on their radar, it’s clear the Texans are strongly considering taking a tackle with the 25th pick in the draft.
  • The surgery Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster underwent on his right rotator cuff in February won’t keep him out for any portion of training camp, his agent, Malki Kawa, announced Monday (on Twitter). The soon-to-be first-rounder is “ahead of schedule,” per Kawa.

Rams Place Robert Quinn On IR

The Rams have placed running back Benny Cunningham and defensive end Robert Quinn on injured reserve, the team announced today. In related news, the team has promoted offensive lineman David Arkin and defensive end Morgan Fox to the 53-man roster. Robert Quinn (vertical)

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Quinn has missed the last two games with a concussion and he’ll have to wait before he can take the field in the post-Jeff Fisher era. After missing time with other injuries this year, Quinn’s 2016 season ends with an efficient four sacks in just nine games. After missing half of the 2015 season, Quinn hopes to come back strong and healthy in the New Year. When he’s on the field and playing at 100%, Quinn is one of the most intimidating young edge defenders in the league.

Quinn showed his true potential in 2013 when he earned First-Team All-Pro and Pro Bowl honors as he tallied 19 sacks. He also received a tremendous 98.8 overall grade from Pro Football Focus. He came back down to earth a bit in 2014, but he still racked up 10.5 sacks on his way to yet another Pro Bowl selection.

Without Cunningham, the Rams are left with three running backs on the roster: Todd Gurley, Malcolm Brown, and Chase Reynolds.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Rams’ Robert Quinn Released From Hospital

Great news out of Los Angeles as Robert Quinn has been released from the hospital, according to NFL Network’s Steve Wyche. Today, Quinn is back at the Rams’ practice facility but there’s no word yet on when he might return to the gridiron. Robert Quinn (vertical)

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At this stage, we still don’t know much about what landed Quinn in the hospital. All that we know is that it was a non-football related illness and not related to the benign brain tumor he dealt with in high school. From the little that Jeff Fisher disclosed yesterday, however, it sounds like Quinn is not facing anything too serious. Now, we’ll have to wait to find out how it may impact him on the field. It seems unlikely that he will play this weekend against the Dolphins, but we won’t know for sure until the team shares more about the defensive end.

So far this year, Quinn has has two sacks, two forced fumbles, and two passes defensed in seven games. That’s not quite on the level with his best campaigns. In 2014, his last full season, he totaled 10.5 sacks and 46 tackles. In the year prior, he earned an All-Pro selection as he tallied an eye-popping 19 sacks and 57 tackles.

We here at PFR wish Quinn nothing but the best and look forward to seeing him back on the field, when he is ready.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.