Lions coach Matt Patricia discusses the challenging 2018 season, ahead of the regular season finale against the Packers. Recorded Dec. 26, 2018.
Dave Birkett, Detroit Free Press
Detroit Lions safety Glover Quin said he has not made up his mind yet on whether he’ll continue playing in 2019.
Quin spent most of the spring away from the team dealing with family obligations that had him briefly contemplating retirement.
He returned for June minicamp and has started all 15 games for the Lions this fall, but rookie Tracy Walker has usurped some of Quin’s playing time in recent weeks and there’s growing speculation Quin will retire or be released this offseason.
“I don’t know. We’ll see,” Quin said Wednesday when asked if he plans to play next year.
Asked if he would consider playing elsewhere if the Lions decide to move on, Quin said, “I don’t know. Depends on the situation.”
Quin, who turns 33 in January, has had a quiet season in comparison to some of the big years he has had with the Lions since signing as a free agent in 2013.
He does not have an interception this year, the first time he has gone without a pick since 2011, and he played just 39 of a possible 61 defensive snaps in last week’s 27-9 loss to the Minnesota Vikings.
Quin said the Lions have not given him any indication of what their intentions are for him next season — he’s due a $5.25 million salary and has another $1 million in bonuses — and insisted he has not thought about retirement since the spring.
“I’ve been locked in for the whole duration of the season,” Quin said. “Once I made up my mind that, hey, I’m coming back to play, I’ve been locked in. Those are offseason situations that, I mean, I’m not thinking about retiring and stuff like that during the season. So, I mean, my focus has been on each and every week trying to win football games.”
Lions coach Matt Patricia said Monday any discussion about Quin’s future is premature and would be better left for the offseason.
“I’ve always had the philosophy and we’ve always discussed the philosophy of the season itself is a long, hard grind and sometimes you need to take a couple minutes after the season to just let yourself come back down,” Patricia said. “I think that’s everybody in the entire organization. So for us, we just stay in the moment, try to make sure we’re always handling our business that week and try to prepare to go get ready to go, and that’s really the right way to approach it.”
If Quin, one of the Lions’ most respected players, decides to retire without being released, he would potentially have to repay the organization a prorated portion of the $5 million signing bonus he received when he signed a two-year extension before the 2017 season.
The Lions made star receiver Calvin Johnson repay some of his signing bonus when he retired in March of 2016, a decision that created hard feelings between Johnson and the organization.
“I’m not really worried about that,” Quin said. “I think all those situations are totally different so we’ll cross that bridge whenever we have to.”
Quin said he didn’t get to spend as much time “as I probably would have wanted” taking in the sights and sounds of Ford Field in what could have been his last game last week.
And even though the Lions are 5-10 and guaranteed to finish in last place in the NFC North, Quin said he has no regrets about returning to play this year.
“Obviously you play to try to win it all,” Quin said. “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. And if it don’t work out, I’m not an oh-I-wish-I-would-have-never-done-this type. It’s like, ‘Man, it just didn’t work out.’
“Was it a bad decision? No. Had a great time. 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.”
Contact Dave Birkett: firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.