Safety Glover Quin, who was a steady presence on and off the field during a career spent with the Houston Texans and Detroit Lions, has announced he is retiring.
A fourth-round draft pick of the Texans in 2009, the 33-year-old Quin played 10 seasons.
‘Playing professional sports was always a dream’
Though he started every game for the Lions in his six seasons with the team beginning in 2013, the team released him in February to save $6.25 million against the salary cap.
ESPN Lions reporter Michael Rothstein wrote that after Detroit’s final game last season, a shutout win over the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field, Quin took pictures with teammates and seemed to take in the scenery and the moment, perhaps a sign that he knew he had played his last game.
“Playing professional sports was always a dream of mine. Football was the route I chose and God blessed me to be able to persevere through all the hardships and play 10 years in the NFL,” Quin wrote in a text message to Rothstein. “I'm so thankful for the opportunity I had to play in the NFL with such great players and two great organizations.
“Football was never who I was as a person. It was always what I had done. I wanted to use football as a stepping stone into the rest of my life and not let football be my life. I always only wanted to play 10 years. Said if I was able to walk off the field after the last game in Year 10, it would be really hard for me to walk back on. I'm young, I'm healthy and I got a lot of life to live. So I'm walking away from the game of football.”
On Instagram, Quin posted a video of some of his game highlights and pictures with his family with Nina Simone’s classic “Feeling Good” as the soundtrack. His youngest son says now his dad will be able to take him to school every day and spend time with his two brothers too.
‘I watched everything he did’
Quin retires with just one Pro Bowl appearance, but he has been one of the most productive safeties in the NFL over the last six years, since signing with the Lions as a free agent.
Logan Lamorandier, who runs LionLowdown.com, tweeted that Quin’s 148 consecutive starts were more than any active safety, and in his time with the Lions, he was the only player with at least 400 tackles, 15 interceptions, 10 tackles for loss and five forced fumbles.
Quin’s 19 interceptions are the most for a safety in Detroit history.
He had a league-best seven picks in 2014, his Pro Bowl season; he was voted second-team All-Pro that year as well.
But Quin was just as impactful off the field. He was one of the Lions’ union reps and was a big brother/mentor to numerous teammates.
Safety Quandre Diggs told ESPN last year, “I might not be a good safety if GQ wasn't here. Just put it like that. He taught me the ropes. I watched everything he did when I played nickel because I always knew that it was going to be the transition for me.
“So basically everything he's done, I've watched and I tried to emulate.”
Linebacker Jarrad Davis told The Athletic last season, “GQ’s been everything since I’ve gotten here. This dude right here, he’s showed me a lot, showed my teammates a lot, not only how to be a great football player but to be a great man. All love goes to him and his family from us, because he’s shown us the way for a long time.”
Quin has spent time in recent offseasons coaching his sons’ Little League teams; that and more seems to be in his future.
“Now I get to spend time returning the love and support to my family and friends that supported me throughout my career," Quin said in the text message to Rothstein. “Thank you to everyone that played a role in my career. It is, and was, very much appreciated!!”
‘With great admiration and respect’
The Lions released a statement attributed to general manager Bob Quinn acknowledging Quin’s contributions to the team, on and off the field.
“It is with great admiration and respect that we congratulate Glover Quin on his retirement following 10 seasons in the National Football League - six of which were spent with the Lions. Throughout his time in Detroit, Glover was the definition of a leader in everything he did.
“In addition to his consistent play on the field, his presence in the locker room for younger players and his natural ability to connect with our community defined his legacy as a Lion. We wish him and his family the very best as he enters this next stage of his life.”
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