Damon Harrison says he never wanted to go to Lions, was ‘hell-bent’ on leaving Detroit


Damon Harrison has been a free agent for almost two months, and ever since the Dallas Cowboys seemingly chose Gerald McCoy over him in 2020 free agency, it’s unclear whether the longtime defensive tackle will even find a new NFL home. That, however, isn’t stopping Harrison from telling everyone he’s glad to be done with the Detroit Lions.

Appearing on Chris Long’s “Green Light” podcast on Monday, the former All-Pro claimed that he never wanted to go to the Lions in the first place.

“I was a bit angry,” Harrison told Long about his 2018 trade to Detroit from the New York Giants. “To be completely honest with you, I didn’t want to go to Detroit because of some things that I heard from some guys in the past and some guys who were there. When I got the call that that’s where I was traded, I didn’t answer the phone for a couple hours. (Lions general manager) Bob Quinn was calling me, and I didn’t pick up the phone because I was trying to figure out a way to get out of it.”

Not only that, but Harrison was apparently “hell-bent” on leaving the Lions even after a productive 10-game stint with the team in 2018, when he logged 50 tackles and 3.5 sacks in nine starts.

“That was a time where, to be honest with you, we were trying to facilitate a trade,” he explained. “I was hell-bent on getting out of there. It’s nothing against the people of Detroit, the city or anything like that. I’ll forever love the city of Detroit. But I just had to go try to put myself in a situation where I saw myself there for two or three years to end my career, and I just didn’t see myself in Detroit for that long.”

It was the Lions’ scheme, Harrison explained, that mostly had him down. Interestingly enough, though, that didn’t stop him from signing a one-year extension with Detroit just prior to the 2019 season.

Harrison publicly mulled retirement following the season, but his ultimate departure from Detroit — he was released in February — was “mutual,” the lineman said. And apparently a long time coming.





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