When the Lions moved Quandre Diggs to safety full time last season, and then drafted Tracy Walker in the third round, the future of the safety position in Detroit was set in motion.
Friday, the Lions released veteran safety Glover Quin, ushering in that future.
"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. "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 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."
Quin signed as a free agent in 2013 and started every game for the Lions the last six seasons. He ranks third among active players with 148 consecutive starts, behind Philip Rivers (208) and Brandon Carr (176). Quin said after the season he planned to spend time with his family this offseason before deciding whether to play in 2019.
Diggs and Walker are now likely to be the leading candidates to start in 2019.
Diggs put together the most complete season of his career in 2018, recording an interception on the very first and very last defensive plays of the season. He was the only defensive back in the NFL to finish last season with at least 75 tackles, three interceptions, three tackles for loss and a pick-six.
Over the past two years, he is one of only two defensive backs in the NFL to total at least 130 tackles, eight tackles for loss, six interceptions and a pick-six.
Walker's snaps increased steadily throughout the course of his rookie season, and he became an important component of some of Detroit's sub packages.
His overall grade from Pro Football Focus ranked in the top 16 among all of the league's safeties. He finished with 21 tackles and an interception in 267 snaps.
Veteran Tavon Wilson is also on the roster at the safety position. David Jones was signed to a reserve/futures contract. Charles Washington is an exclusive rights free agent.