The Detroit Lions began their quest to rebuild the defensive tackle position by trading for Haloti Ngata on Tuesday. There's still work to be done, though, and based on various reports, the Lions still seem to have interest in re-signing Nick Fairley.
The problem for the Lions is that Fairley is getting ready to explore his other options. Specifically, he's going to visit the Cincinnati Bengals of all teams on Wednesday.
Source: Nick Fairley is visiting the Cincinnati #Bengals tomorrow.
— Josina Anderson (@JosinaAnderson) March 10, 2015
There are really three ways this can go. The first scenario is that Fairley will sign with the Bengals or another team he visits and the Lions will have to look elsewhere for help at defensive tackle. Another scenario is that Fairley will test the market, take a visit or two and ultimately re-sign with the Lions. And then there's this scenario: The Lions could make sure that Fairley's visit with the Bengals never happens by simply re-signing him before then.
I personally have a tough time believing that the Lions will ultimately present Fairley with his best offer from a money standpoint. Given their apprehension with picking up his fifth-year option, it'd be surprising if they outbid other teams for his services. Then again, maybe they will decide that, given their other options, the risk of signing Fairley to a long-term deal is worth it. It remains to be seen, but if the Lions want to make sure Fairley returns to Detroit, they would be wise to get something done sooner rather than later.