New Dolphins DE Robert Quinn; what is Miami getting?

LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 12: Robert Quinn
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 12: Robert Quinn /

The Miami Dolphins made a trade. It wasn’t the one that everyone is expecting but it brings Robert Quinn to the Dolphins for reasonable compensation.

There is still some confusion on the trade compensation at this time. The latest report seems to be Miami sending one of their two 4th round picks and their sixth round pick to the Rams for Quinn and the Rams 6th round pick.

What are the Dolphins getting in Robert Quinn? Are they getting the two-time Pro-Bowl player or are they getting the 2017 version that saw dropped production? We will get to that in a minute but let us understand why the Rams parted ways with him first.

The Rams signed Quinn to an extension only two years ago. He will enter the 3rd year of that deal. He previously had some back issues that required surgery but did not seem to hinder his play. That is not the reason they traded him.

In Los Angeles the Rams converted to a 3-4 defense and as a result Quinn moved to the outside linebacker position throughout the season. It’s not a natural spot for him. When comparing his 2017 totals to the rest of his career they are noticeably down but not by much.

Quinn is a fast edge rusher who can use his body, arms, legs, and has a variety of first impact moves that allow him to get to a quarterback quickly. He has the speed to chase down quarterbacks and can get off blocks. He also recognizes the pass quickly and can get in position to knock the balls down off the quarterbacks release.

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With the Dolphins, Quinn with either be a full three down player which he is capable of or will rotate with Cam Wake or on the other side with Charles Harris. With William Hayes heading to free agency the Dolphins needed to shore up the hole he would leave.

Quinn isn’t as good at stopping the run as Hayes but he is a lot better at it than Andre Branch. The Dolphins may need to move one of their defensive ends as it is crowded with talent but it is very unlikely that Cameron Wake would be out even though Miami would gain the most in cap space by trading or releasing him.

If Wake were to be traded Miami would gain $8 million in cap space and only carry a $500,000 dead hit. Andre Branch is a potential but that would be tough one to manage. If released before June 1st, the Dolphins would eat around $11 million with only a savings of around one million. A post June 1 trade however would save the Dolphins $8 million in space and only $2 million in dead money but finding a trade partner for that would be hard.

"For more on the Robert Quinn trade tune into DolphinsTalk’s latest podcast where they discuss the addition in more depth."

As for Quinn, the Dolphins will get a player who goes non-stop and doesn’t quit. He has a very good motor and even better locker room presence. What Quinn has that Miami doesn’t have is leadership and that is lacking on the defense. It is something that Wake, Suh, Branch, and even Reshad Jones do not possess instead leading by example.

Quinn should help re-shape the Dolphins defensive front and his ability to drop back and play the outside linebacker spot will also help considerably if he is needed to.