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Bob Quinn reflects on Damon Harrison trade: ‘I was definitely freaking out’

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Bob Quinn explained how the Damon Harrison trade came to be and just how nervous he was.

NFL: Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

One of the most memorable moments from the Detroit Lions’ 2018 season was when they pulled off the trade for star defensive tackle Damon Harrison Sr. The move was not only extremely cheap for the Lions—it only cost them a fifth-round pick to acquire him—but it transformed Detroit’s defense almost immediately.

So how did such a transformative trade happen out of the blue?

During Monday’s season ticket fan summit, Lions general manager Bob Quinn explained how the trade was constructed and how much disbelief he was going through.

“That was something that came about—I think I had mentioned this—in the course of a couple of hours,” Quinn said. “You get a phone call, and you’re like, ‘They’re willing to do that?’”

Quinn said the trade talks started during the regular workday, and after some back-and-forth, the team made their offer. It looked like things were going to get done, and the Lions were just waiting for the Giants to call back.

“That was something that happened at night, and I remember laying in bed with my cellphone and was just hoping it was going to ring,” Quinn recalled. “My wife was looking at me like I was crazy.”

The Lions general manager was impatient waiting through the night, fearful that the Giants may reconsider or renege on their asking price.

“You’re trying to wake up the other general manager before he re-thinks it.”

Unfortunately for Detroit, the call didn’t come that night, and Quinn admitted he was worried.

“I was definitely freaking out,” Quinn said. “Honestly, we had two fifth-round picks and originally I offered our lowest of the two, and I’m like, ‘What am I doing here? Just whatever fifth rounder you want, just take it.’”

But it turned out there was no real reason for concern. The Giants returned the call at 7 a.m. the next morning to complete the trade and Quinn couldn’t wait to tell his head coach.

“I ran down to Matt’s office and I’m like, ‘We got him!’ and it was a good day.”

A good day, indeed.