Lions' Bob Quinn denies team backed out of trade with Texans
During the third round of the NFL Draft, a camera stationed in the office of Houston Texans coach and de facto general manager Bill O'Brien captured the coach expressing visible frustration before the team selected Florida linebacker Jonathan Greenard with the 90th pick.
According to a Houston Chronicle report citing multiple sources, O'Brien was angry because the Detroit Lions backed out of a trade for the selection.
The Chronicle said O'Brien was directly asked about the snafu after the third round and declined comment, only acknowledging that he was fiddling with his computer's camera during a Zoom call.
Lions general manager Bob Quinn was also asked about the report and denied the team had a trade in place with the Texans.
"We talk to a lot of teams," Quinn said. "When we’re not on the clock, we talk to a bunch of teams, and it’s not just myself. We have four or five people that make calls. So I’m not sure what that was about. But we didn’t have a trade.
"I had talked to Billy a couple times during the day, like I talk to every team. We didn't have any conversations like that."
Quinn and O'Brien previously worked together for five years in New England.
Regardless of whether there was ever substantial talks with Houston, the Lions did execute their first trade of the virtual draft, moving up 10 spots in the third round to grab Ohio State guard Jonah Jackson.
Quinn explained the process of how a trade does come together in this unique environment.
"There's a few extra steps," he said. "We're on a video conference with my staff, like I told you before, there's eight or 10 of us in the room at a given time. So we split up the calls. I can't make every call. If we're trying to go up the draft board, we kind of split them up and say, 'Listen, you take this time, I take that team, Joe you take this team.' So on and so on. There's probably four or five people making calls and communication has to be clear and you have to be able to make a decision."
When Quinn learned the Colts were interested in what the Lions were offering to make the move up, he phoned counterpart Chris Ballard, the Colts general manager, and the deal was completed in a matter of seconds.