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Robert Quinn In Line For A Similar Contract To Mario Williams?

St. Louis Rams DE Robert Quinn has quickly become one of the game’s best pass-rushing defensive ends. Quinn’s 2013 season has him in place to be a finalist for defensive-player of the year and he’s still only 23-years-old.

Nick Wagner of ESPN.com examines what his next contract could look like given that he can discuss a long-term deal with the Rams now that he’s heading into his fourth year in the league.

The Rams will need to decide whether or not pick up his fifth-year option, which will be an average of the No. 3 – No. 25 contracts at the defensive end position. Given how well Quinn has played for them, Wagner believes this is an easy decision to make and I would have to agree.

It’s worth noting that picking up Quinn’s option will require St. Louis to guarantee the fifth-year of his contract, but once again, it’s still an easy decision to make.

As for the type of money Quinn could net in his next contract, Wagner mentions that Quinn could surpass the recent contract handed out to fellow Rams DE Chris Long and come close to the contracts signed by Bills DE Mario Williams and Bears DE Julius Peppers.

Here’s a breakdown of those deals:

  • Mario Williams: six-years, $96 million total, $50 million guaranteed, $16 million average.
  • Julius Peppers: six-years, $84 million total, $42 million guaranteed, $14 million average.
  • Chris Long: five-years, $60.31 million total, $36.76 million guaranteed, $12.05 million average.

Wagner writes that the $40 million guaranteed figure is really the high mark for the defensive end position, but he believes Quinn’s has a shot to surpass that figure and come close to Williams’ record $50 million guaranteed.

The real problem for the Rams is the fact that they have little to no cap space to fit a contract like this into their current cap situation. St. Louis could free up a decent amount of cap space by reworking QB Sam Bradford‘s deal, but that would push guaranteed money further into the future. Releasing CB Cortland Finnegan also remains an option.

Either way, the Rams will need to start planning so that they are prepared to handle a monster extension for Quinn when the time comes.