By: Will Burchfield
Matthew Stafford’s contract is the one you’ll hear most about, but there are others on the Lions roster facing similar questions.
Two who stand out?
The team’s head coach and one of its longest-tenured players on defense.
Like Stafford, both Jim Caldwell and safety Glover Quin are entering the final year of their respective contracts.
Quin says he hopes to sign an extension. Caldwell says he’s not even thinking about it.
“I’m focused in on football, but I will tell you this,” said Caldwell, a smile beginning to form. “Not at any point in time in my life do I ever remember my wife asking me about my contract. “So if she’s not worried about it…”
The implication being, why should you be?
Caldwell signed a four-year contract with the Lions ahead of the 2014 season. The team has made the playoffs in two of his three years at the helm, but it’s unclear if GM Bob Quinn has plans to bring him back after this season.
“I’m not worried about that, and matter of fact, those years don’t matter. It’s this year coming up that matters, that’s what’s most important,” said Caldwell.
It’s been speculated that Quinn is simply waiting for Caldwell’s contract to expire, after which he’ll bring in a coach of his own choice. That threatens to undermine Caldwell’s hold on the locker room this season, but he isn’t worried about being viewed as a lame duck.
“If you have a 15-year contract, it doesn’t mean you’re not gonna be fired tomorrow. You always gotta perform. I’ve never worried about those things — I could care less, to be honest with you. I’m more focused on getting our team ready. That’s my job, that’s my charge and that’s what we’ll do,” Caldwell said.
As for Quin, the veteran safety reiterated his desire to work out an extension with the Lions before his current deal expires.
“I hope. I mean, that’s all I can do. I’ve told you guys this since I first got here, I just kind of play, man. I let the other people do their jobs, and I try to stay out of it because I don’t want to get caught up in the middle. I don’t want to have ill feelings toward people who feel a certain way. I tell my agents to let me know when it gets done, if it gets done,” Quin said.
Quin, 31, signed a five-year, $23.5 million contract with the Lions in 2013. He hasn’t missed a single game during his time with the team, and has the seventh longest starting streak among active NFL players at 116 games, dating back to 2009.
He is a leader both on the field and in the locker room.
“I feel like if you want me here, then I’ll be here. A lot of times it comes down to business. Just because I’m not here (doesn’t mean) you don’t want me here. It may just not work out,” said Quin. “There’s a lot of stuff that goes on and I try not to get into it. I’m under contract for this year and that’s what my focus is. Anything past this year, we’ll see what happens.”