On Tuesday, the Detroit Lions secured some help at defensive tackle by trading for Haloti Ngata. There was hope that they would secure another defensive tackle and solidify their starting lineup at that position by re-signing Nick Fairley, but that is not going to happen.
The Free Press' Dave Birkett reported earlier on Wednesday that the Lions told "at least two agents" that they are no longer in the mix for Fairley. With Fairley visiting the Cincinnati Bengals, it must be clear to the Lions that he is headed elsewhere. All along, the consensus has been that the Lions don't want to overpay for Fairley given his injury issues and the concerns about his motivation, and it seems they are sticking to their guns despite being in need of another starting-caliber defensive tackle.
I suppose the situation could always change once Fairley actually sees what his other options are, but for now, it looks like the Lions will have to turn their attention to other defensive tackles. Unfortunately, as we wrote on Tuesday night, their options are starting to dwindle, especially with Dan Williams signing with the Oakland Raiders on Wednesday. (One of those options from Tuesday, Kendall Langford, nearly signed with the Lions before going with the Indianapolis Colts instead.)
Losing Fairley makes the Lions' decision to not pick up his fifth-year option even more of a head-scratcher. The move seemed to eventually pay off from a motivational standpoint in 2014, but the flip side is that the Lions could have had a solid insurance policy for losing Ndamukong Suh had they picked up Fairley's option. Instead, Suh is now in Miami and Fairley will soon join a new team as well. The Lions do have Ngata at defensive tackle, but this position still needs a lot of help going forward with Fairley out of the picture.
UPDATE: For what it's worth:
Important to note on Fairley: This was the Lions moving on from him, not the other way around.
— Dave Birkett (@davebirkett) March 11, 2015