Rams outside linebacker Robert Quinn has mostly been written off as a player L.A. will cut this offseason. And I agree, that is likely going to be the case, the veteran’s career has been derailed by injuries. Quinn had elite quickness to get around the edge on almost any player in the league, but he has lost a step. However, down the home stretch of the season, Quinn started to look like his old self. Sure, there were plenty of growing pains when adjusting to Wade Phillips’ defensive system, but things were looking up.
Take a look at Quinn’s final six games where he tallied six sacks, those are dominant numbers. In the playoffs, on the biggest stage possible, Quinn also got home and brought down Matt Ryan for a sack. Before the season I believed that Quinn could have a DeMarcus Ware-type role in this defense, and that became apparent in the final few games of the season. Now, do Les Snead, Sean McVay, and Wade Phillips believe Quinn can perform like that over an entire season? If the answer is yes, keeping Quinn around for another year would be a very sound decision.
Denver Broncos outside linebacker Von Miller is one of the premier players in the NFL over the past few seasons. A dominant pass rusher who in Super Bowl 50 almost single-handedly ruined Cam Newton’s day, Miller is a force to be reckoned with. Over his 16 game season, Miller notched just 10 total sacks. In his final six games, where Quinn was so dominant, Miller recorded just two. Sure, Miller does not have Aaron Donald up front alongside him, but you can not fault Quinn for having talented teammates.
I know, I know there’s money to be discussed when talking about keeping a big contract on board. Quinn is set to have a cap hit of just over $12 million next season, a fair price if he is able to contribute at a high level. For perspective, Miller’s contract will have a cap hit of more than $22 million next season in Denver, a huge hit.
So, if Quinn is able to give a performance next season that is similar to his final six games, the Rams are getting a steal. However, that is a big if because the Rams have a lot of work to do this offseason. With Connor Barwin unlikely to be resigned, it would be nice for the Rams to keep one veteran edge around. While Samson Ebukam looked good in limited action, he may not be ready for a full-time role.
The Rams have a late first round pick this season, a rare thing for the organization. With Trumaine Johnson a huge question mark in free agency, the Rams will likely draft a cornerback. Thanks to the Sammy Watkins trade, the Rams also do not have a second round pick this year. So, any third round edge drafted may need to be groomed for a year before contributing. Keeping Quinn around would certainly not be the worst thing for the Rams. Trust in Wade Phillips, he has done this before.