Veteran safetry Glover Quin speaks on the 2018 season as Detroit Lions players clean out their lockers at the end of their season. Daniel Mears, The Detroit News
Allen Park -- A veteran of the last day of school feeling that comes with locker room clean outs, Glover Quin wasn’t ready yet Monday to talk about whether there would be another first day of school months from now.
Quin said his 10th year in the league was a “down year” for him. With questions about retirement looming around Quin for weeks, the Lions' 32-year-old safety offered no insight into his future plans or his plans to make future plans.
“I’m not even thinking about that right now,” Quin said. “Being here with my teammates, it’s always a tough time of year. You put so much into the season. Obviously you’re ready to get home, and get with your family, and be able to spend more time with them. But then you’re also parting ways with friends that you’ve spent a lot of time with over the last six months.
“It’s always one of those bittersweet moments, but I’m ready to go home and be with my wife and my kids, kind of take a break from the season and we’ll see what happens.”
After Sunday’s 31-0 victory in Green Bay, Quin took pictures with teammates and did all the things one might do after playing his last game, but said that was the case last season as well, when he mulled retirement then.
If Quin doesn’t retire, the next questions go to the Lions, who would save more than $6 million of salary cap room by releasing Quin, who is under contract for one more season. Quin said last week that he might entertain playing elsewhere if the situation was right.
On Monday, he huddled with fellow secondary starters Quandre Diggs and Darius Slay in the locker room. He could’ve played his final game Sunday alongside those players, who will return as cornerstones of coach Matt Patricia’s defense.
Slay, who will play in his second Pro Bowl this season, was drafted in 2013, the same season Quin came from Houston in free agency. The cornerback has played all 89 career games in front of Quin, who has started 148 straight games in his career.
“It’s one of those times where everybody knows it’s a business,” Slay said. “But most of the guys like that, that I’m saying goodbye to, that I’m close to like that, I’m going to see them all the time eventually because we hang with each other. We’re just not co-workers, we’re brothers.”
Slay said he has not thought about whether he’s played his final game in front of his teammate.
“I am not even trying to get into all that,” Slay said. “We don’t know what’s going to happen. But when the time comes, the time will come.”
In year 10, Quin did not have an interception for the first time since 2011 and his 74.0 combined tackles is exactly on par with his average, giving him 740 in his 10-year career. He did not force a turnover after 24 interceptions and 10 forced fumbles in his first nine years. But Quin, an All-Pro in 2014, maintains his season would be a great one for a lot of safeties in the league, despite his own lofty standards.
“Some years are great years, some are not so great years -- that’s football,” Quin said. “It’s just turnover numbers. I can think back to probably three or four, maybe five plays, where I could’ve had a turnover and I didn’t make the play. I put that on myself.”
The Lions finished 6-10 and have a ready-made replacement for Quin already in house with rookie Tracy Walker, a third-round draft pick who played well in spot action.
It’d be a new look in the back and the end of an era for the Lions, who did not win a playoff game with Quin, who brought stability to a franchise still looking for more.
"Obviously it wasn't the way we wanted to end it," Quin said of the season. "I don’t think I had a turnover this year, missing tackles that I probably should’ve made to help us out, but that’s football.
"That’s the game that we play, that’s the game we signed up for."
Matt Schoch is a freelance writer.