The Detroit Lions roster as evidence
One way to know that Bob Quinn is to blame for the team’s personnel is an examination of the roster. If you cross reference the roster with the Lions draft history, you will notice that only five players on the roster were drafted before Bob Quinn got there in 2016. The most obvious of whom are quarterback Matthew Stafford and cornerback Darius Slay. Theo Riddick, running back, Sam Martin, punter, and Quandre Diggs, safety, comprise the rest of the holdovers.
However, even when discussing those few players, it needs to be remembered that Quinn re-signed Slay his first year on the job. He committed to Stafford and made him the highest paid quarterback in the NFL for a short time in 2017 and has him signed through 2022. Quinn has had to endorse and recommit to those players for them to stay this long; they could not remain on the roster without his blessing.
Everyone else was brought to Detroit expressly by Quinn via trade or draft. In other words, this roster in its entirety is his roster. His first couple of years we would agree he had contracts that he was saddled with that he didn’t have many options about. That is part of the job and fans can appreciate the way that he tried to use what we had while bringing in “his guys.”
Take, for example, another aspect of the Matthew Stafford deal. If Quinn secretly believed that Stafford was a guy that he wanted out he would’ve tried harder to develop another player at quarterback. The only two draft picks used on quarterbacks have resulted in both being let go by Quinn. Neither were high draft picks, either, which also implies that quarterback isn’t much of a concern to Quinn.
So, aside from paying him, Quinn has publicly endorsed Stafford, which almost all general managers do with starters, but his actions support the idea that he did not care to replace Stafford. In fact, he seems 100% on board with trying to help Stafford by building a team around him.
The possible problem moving forward is that they are ALL his guys. The payoff could be a legacy of winning with those players and staff that he hand-chose. Should this regime fail or continue to underachieve like the 6-10 record last year, there is no one else to blame.