ALLEN PARK, Mich. — Former Detroit Lions safety Quandre Diggs said he believes it was personality and willingness to speak out that led to him being traded to Seattle in an interview with the Detroit Free Press on Thursday.
“I think it was more of just a control thing,” Diggs told the Free Press. “Them wanting to control the locker room. Control the locker room, control voices in the locker room.”
Diggs was dealt from Detroit to Seattle the week before the trade deadline, shocking both him and his Lions teammates. It led cornerback Darius Slay, one of his closer friends on the roster, to speak out about loyalty in the NFL, the realities of the league being a business and how “nobody’s safe” from being traded in Detroit’s locker room.
The 26-year-old Diggs had been a team captain before he was traded to Seattle, part of the reason he was surprised he was moved. Even so, he “wouldn’t say [the trade was] totally unexpected because things were not great there.”
He didn’t want to get into too much of what happened with the Lions, but said he believes it’ll eventually come out.
“I don’t want to get into that in the middle of the season,” Diggs said. “I don’t want controversy here, controversy there. At the end of the day, it’ll come out, man. Everything else tends to come out there, so I’m sure it’ll come out. I hear the rumblings about, ‘Oh, he wasn’t playing well,’ blah, blah, blah. Well, … I also wasn’t put in the position that I was put in last year when I was making plays.
“It’ll all come out in the end. Like I say, played through injuries, trying to change my personality to fit more in with the program and it changed me as a player, it changed me as a person but at the end of the day I’m just happy to be free and I can be myself and go out and play football or play winning football.”
Diggs was a Pro Bowl alternate following the 2018 season. This season, he missed one game with an injured hamstring and then re-injured it, he said, against Minnesota — the game before he was traded. Since going to Seattle, he had to have his hamstring drained.
He has yet to play for Seattle but could debut this weekend. Diggs played in 65 games in Detroit, making 229 tackles with six interceptions, three forced fumbles and 24 passes defended between playing cornerback and safety. He started 40 games for the Lions, including all five he appeared in this season.
Lions coach Matt Patricia said he addressed the Diggs trade when it was made and didn’t want to elaborate on Diggs’ comments.
“For us as a team right now, we’re all about Chicago,” Patricia said. “It’s a big game for us. We’re focused on trying to go out and play well.”
Since trading Diggs, who was a starter, the Lions have also lost their other starter at safety, Tracy Walker, to a knee injury and one of the team’s reserve safeties, Miles Killebrew, suffered a concussion in practice Thursday — leaving Detroit with three healthy safeties.