With Ndamukong Suh headed to Miami and lots of question marks surrounding the future of Nick Fairley, the Detroit Lions may have to turn elsewhere at defensive tackle. One possible option for them in their quest to add help at defensive tackle is to sign Stephen Paea, who played for the Chicago Bears from 2011-14 and will be a free agent on Tuesday. Actually, according to one report, the Lions are already "showing interest" in him.
As expected, wiith Suh to MIA & market for Fairley, DET showing interest in DT Stephen Paea. #NFL
— Jen Lada (@JenLada) March 8, 2015
Paea, a second-round pick of the Bears in 2011, recorded 33 tackles, 6.0 sacks, two pass defenses and two forced fumbles in 2014. What's more, he received a +14.4 grade on Pro Football Focus last season, which put him 11th in the NFL at defensive tackle. (Suh, for comparison, was third, while Fairley was 18th despite missing the second half of the season.)
I'm sure reports like this about the Lions having interest in certain free-agent defensive tackles are only going to become more and more common in the coming days, especially if Fairley ends up signing elsewhere. Right now, the Lions have two open spots in the starting lineup at defensive tackle on paper, and at least one of those is going to have to be filled by a free agent.