As it stands right now, Detroit Lions defensive tackle Nick Fairley is set to become an unrestricted free agent next offseason. The Lions had an opportunity to extend Fairley's deal by one year by picking up the fifth-year option in his contract, but the team decided against doing that. Lions general manager Martin Mayhew announced the decision on Monday.
Mayhew said he wants Fairley to be motivated. Said Fairley was 'pumped' about it— Chris McCosky (@cmccosky) March 24, 2014
This isn't the first time the Lions have provided some motivation for Fairley this year. Earlier in the offseason, Mayhew said that Fairley needs to "mature as a professional," and he also said that Fairley would benefit from "repositioning" some of his weight.
Clearly, the Lions aren't sold on Fairley beyond 2014. Had they picked up the fifth-year option, Fairley would have gotten about $5.5 million for 2015, but the Lions don't think he's worth that as of right now. This means that he will hit the open market a year from now unless he impresses the Lions enough this upcoming season to earn an extension.