Defensive end Robert Quinn said in a conference call with reporters Wednesday that he was stunned by his trade from the Los Angeles Rams to the Miami Dolphins but said he is happy to be out of Los Angeles.
"Honestly, you don't realize you're suffocating until you can't breathe no more, so I was just glad I could have a new breath of fresh air down here in Miami," he said, according to the Palm Beach Post. "It's allowed me to clear my mind and have a fresh start and a new beginning and new possibilities. I'm excited for the new start. I think this was best for me and my family. Sometimes things work out funny, but they always work out for the best."
Asked to clarify his comments, Quinn, who played college football at North Carolina after growing up in South Carolina, said, "I'm not a West Coast guy."
He said he had an initial feeling of betrayal when the Rams traded him after he spent his first seven NFL seasons with the team.
"It's like this, this is the first time I've been traded. You commit yourself to someone and basically you have a family member turn their back on you, and you realize who appreciates you around here and you commit yourself to them," he said, according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. "I've got a new family now here in Miami, and that's all I'm concerned about."
Quinn, who chose to protest during the national anthem last season by raising his fist, did not say on the call whether he would continue the demonstration with the Dolphins.
Quinn, who has 62.5 sacks in his career, will return to his natural position of defensive end after playing linebacker last season for the Rams.