Free safety Glover Quin has signed a five-year deal with the Detroit Lions, becoming the second Texans starter to leave the team since free agency began on Tuesday afternoon.
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports that Quin, whose deal was announced by the Lions on Twitter, will earn about $5 million per year with Detroit. Fullback James Casey signed a three-year, $14.5 deal with the Philadelphia Eagles on Wednesday morning.
Safety now becomes one of the Texans' top needs. Quin played 97 percent of the defensive snaps in 2012 and had a team-high 247 tackles over the last three seasons. He was a quiet leader in the secondary who coach Gary Kubiak said at the NFL Scouting Combine was "very important to what we're doing." The Texans do not have a player on the roster ready to step in and start for Quin, who had cornerback experience and could play in the slot, opposite veteran Danieal Manning.
Fortunately for the Texans, plenty of quality safeties are available in free agency and the draft. Among the top free agent safeties are LaRon Landry (New York Jets), Ed Reed (Baltimore Ravens), Quintin Mikell (St. Louis Rams), Kenny Phillips (New York Giants), Michael Huff (Oakland Raiders), Adrian Wilson (Arizona Cardinals), Gerald Sensabaugh (Dallas Cowboys) and Charles Woodson (Green Bay Packers).
Safeties Kenny Vaccaro (Texas), Matt Elam (Florida) and Jonathan Cyprien (Florida International) are viewed as potential first-round picks in the 2013 draft. The Texans pick at No. 27 overall.
Quin, 27, was drafted by the Texans in the fourth round out of New Mexico in 2009. He started 60 of 64 games in four seasons, including all 32 games in the last two seasons as a safety under defensive coordinator Wade Phillips.