Lions release veteran safety Quin after 6 seasons
After becoming one of the most consistent players on the Detroit Lions over the past six seasons, safety Glover Quin announced on Instagram Friday that he is not going to be returning to the team in 2019.
There were questions about the 33-year-old’s status throughout the season — and Quin often danced around whether he would be with the franchise in the final year of his contract.
Quin had a base salary of $5.25 million due to him in 2019 and by cutting the former captain, the Lions saved $6.25 million in cap space. Had he been on the roster on the fifth day of the 2019 league year, the Lions would have owed him $500,000.
Quin had signed with the Lions in free agency before the 2013 season and played in every game over six years for Detroit — part of a 148-game starting streak that remains longest among active safeties in the NFL. A Pro Bowler in 2014, Quin led the NFL with seven interceptions that season — the best year of his career.
Drafted in the fourth round of the 2009 draft out of New Mexico by Houston, Quin has started 156 of the 159 games he’s played in, making 24 interceptions and 740 tackles. He’s also forced 10 fumbles and scored two touchdowns off interceptions. He’ll finish his time with the Lions second all-time among defensive backs in tackles, with 424.
Late last season, Quin said he was unsure if he was going to play in 2019 and admitted contemplating retirement before the 2018 season before returning to play. It’s not clear at this point whether Quin plans on retiring or trying to play in 2019 — and it’s possible he hasn’t made that decision yet.
He said he had no regrets about returning for 2018, though.
“Obviously, you play to try and win it all,” Quin said in December. “Doesn’t always work out that way, but can’t look back on it and regret the decision. You put a lot of thought and a lot of time into making a decision, and once you make it, you go at it.
“If it doesn’t work out, you know, I’m not going to wish I would have never done this. It’s just like, man, it just didn’t work out. Was it a bad decision? No. Had a great time, you know, getting to play football, getting to do what I love to do, getting to be around the guys, getting to have another year in the National Football League. I mean, how fortunate am I? So never look at it as a regretful decision.”
With Quin off the team, the Lions will likely look to last year’s third-round pick, Tracy Walker, to be the starter alongside Quandre Diggs — one of the many Lions defensive backs Quin influenced throughout his six years with the franchise.
Multiple defensive backs told ESPN over the final few weeks of the 2018 season how much Quin meant to their development, both personally and professionally. He was one of the faces of the Lions for a half-decade.
“We thank Glover for his countless contributions to the Detroit Lions during his six seasons with our team,” Lions general manager Bob Quinn said in a statement Friday. “Since joining the organization in 2013, Glover exemplified everything it means to be a true professional in this league — as both a competitor on the field and a leading voice in the community. Coach [Matt] Patricia and I have the utmost respect for him as a man and player, and we wish him nothing but the very best in the future.”
The 27-year-old Ellington signed with the Lions following the team’s trade of Golden Tate to Philadelphia and became the team’s slot receiver until being placed on injured reserve on Dec. 22. In four games with the Lions, he had 23 catches for 132 yards.
A fourth-round pick by San Francisco in 2014 out of South Carolina, Ellington played two years in San Francisco, a season-plus in Houston and then four games with the Lions. He has 79 career catches for 769 yards and five touchdowns. He also has 48 career punt returns — 42 of them with the Niners — for 372 yards along with 50 kick returns for 1,279 yards.