"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 ESPN. "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."
After a shaky start to his career, Quin became a rising playmaker during the end of his four-year stint in Houston. The safety then signed in Detroit as a prized free agent in 2013. He immediately became the Lions' stalwart in the secondary, ball-hawking, stepping up in the run, and managing the entire back end of Detroit's defense. Quin earned a Pro Bowl bid and a second-team All-Pro selection in 2014, when he led the NFL in interceptions (7). Frankly, he was one of the more underrated players during his six years in Detroit and should have garnered more accolades -- including 2017 All-Pro and Pro Bowl snubs after what was arguably his best season.
"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," Detroit general manager Bob Quinn said in a statement. "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."
A dependable safety who was always available, starting 156 of 159 career games, and whose nose found the football, Quin compiled 24 interceptions, 737 tackles, 85 passes defended, 10 forced fumbles, four sacks and two interceptions returned for defensive touchdowns.
Following a down 2018 campaign in which he notably lost a step, the Lions cut Quin in February after six seasons.
Not only a chief voice on the field, Quin was also a leader off it for the Lions. A media favorite, the veteran was a voice of reason, calm, and straightforwardness. He also mentored teammates with off-field issues, and took a pride of young players under his tutelage.
"GQ's been everything since I've gotten here," second-year linebacker Jarrad Davis told The Athletic back in December. "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."
After a decade in the NFL, Quin now sets his sights toward other goals.
"Now I get to spend time returning the love and support to my family and friends that supported me throughout my career," Quin told ESPN in the text message. "Thank you to everyone that played a role in my career. It is, and was, very much appreciated!!"