While running backs are cast off upon reaching 30, and veterans at other positions start to decline after hitting the big 3-0, the 31-year-old Quin thinks he's still in his prime -- and is looking for a payday to match it.
Quin joined the Lions on a five-year, $23.5 million deal in 2013, signed at age 27 when defensive backs are considered to be at their peak. Quin is aging gracefully, though, which he credits to the nature of his position.
"Thirty-one as a safety, you're kind of probably in your prime because you're kind of seeing the game like a quarterback now," Quin said Thursday, via the Detroit Free Press. "Quarterbacks really hit their prime 28, 29, 30, 31, cause now they see stuff so much differently. Safety, you're kind of seeing it the same way."
Safety has often been a position destination for aging corners, but for Quin, it's been where he's made his living. That could explain why he feels he's still in his prime for the near future, and when combined with his demonstrated loyalty to Detroit, wants to get another deal done with the Lions before he hits the market.
It's also obviously in his best interest to get the deal done before he gets a year, month, or even a day older. It's difficult to quantify how good a safety is with traditional metrics, but the money-making stat -- interceptions -- peaked at seven in Quin's 2014 Pro Bowl season. He's since recorded six in the last two seasons combined, but can bring his durability, represented by his 116-game participation streak, to the table in negotiations.
"Body wise, my body feels good," Quin said. "Playing safety, being able to play smart, being able to use your brain a lot more, cause a lot of times people move to safety later in their career to add a couple years. So to be already at safety and not having to make that move, as long as I can still catch the ball and read and move, I feel like I can play for a good bit."
Detroit extended cornerback Darius Slay, running back Theo Riddick and punter Sam Martin last year, and has been in negotiations with Quin on an extension, the safety said. The hope on Quin's side is that a deal gets done before the season, but it could be better for Detroit to wait for another season of proof it would be a wise investment, especially with new deals for Matthew Stafford and Ezekiel Ansah also on the way.