'Happy to be here': Lions sign Quin to 2-year extension
Allen Park — The Detroit Lions announced a contract extension with a former Pro Bowler on Sunday, maybe just not the one everyone was expecting.
The team reached an agreement with veteran safety Glover Quin, which will keep him in Detroit through the 2019 season. ESPN reported the two-year pact is worth $13 million with $9.5 million guaranteed.
Quin, 31, had made it publicly known he wanted to stay in Detroit. His representation began negotiating with the front office months ago, but the deal wasn’t finalized until minutes before the team’s first training camp practice.
“Throughout my whole football-playing career, from college to everything I did, I always wanted to play and be somewhere where I wanted,” Quin said. “I didn’t care where I was, any of that stuff, I just wanted to go somewhere where I was wanted. Detroit doing this for me shows me they wanted me here and I’m happy to be here.”
While Quin said he was always confident the extension would get done, especially after the two sides agreed to basic financial parameters, he was also mentally prepared for this to be his last season with the Lions.
While some players are fine continuing negotiations into the season, Quin was prepared to cut off talks to prevent a lingering distraction.
“I told my guys, I don’t want this thing to linger through training camp,” Quin said. “I either want to get it done or be like we couldn’t come to terms and GQ is in his last year in Detroit, let’s enjoy it, have a lot of fun and understand it’s part of the business.”
In part because of the timing of the deal, and in part because of his reserved personality, Quin only shared his good news with his wife, best friend and two teammates. Many other Lions players learned of the extension from reporters after practice.
“See, he’s one of those guys that you would never know because he’s not going to celebrate that,” wide receiver Golden Tate said. “He’s going to celebrate winning with his teammates. A super deserving guy. He works hard, he runs around like he’s 23 (years old). He’s a great leader in our locker room, in the Christian community and just out in the public, I’m happy for him. He deserves it. That makes me happy.”
A fourth-round draft pick out of New Mexico in 2009, Quin spent his first four seasons with the Houston Texans, playing virtually every position in the team’s secondary. A top free agent in 2013, the Lions were able to lure him away from the Texans with a five-year, $23.5 million pact.
Quin still calls Houston home in the offseason.
During his first four seasons in Detroit, Quin has been one of the team’s most consistent and durable performers, recording 266 tackles, 30 pass defenses and a team-high 16 interceptions. He’s started all 64 games, part of 116 consecutive starts, dating back to his time in Houston. That’s the longest active streak at his position.
Quin was named to the Pro Bowl and earned second-team All-Pro honors in 2014 after he led the NFL with seven interceptions.
He’s also the leader in the secondary and has served as a mentor to many of the team’s young players, including cornerbacks Darius Slay and Nevin Lawson and safety Miles Killebrew.
“He’s a staple in this defense,” linebacker Tahir Whitehead said. “He gets guys lined up in the back end and communicates extremely well, getting everyone on the same page …That’s big time to have a guy like that to be here a couple more years.”
Last season, the Lions reached an agreement on a four-year extension with Slay. Along with rookie Teez Tabor and second-year safety Killebrew, the team has the makings of a strong secondary that should be together the next few seasons.
With Quin’s deal wrapped up, the Lions will continue to work on a long-term extension for quarterback Matthew Stafford, who is entering the final year of his current contract.