Free agency is just over two weeks away, and the Detroit Lions need a massive amount of defensive help. Defensive tackle may be the team’s biggest need, as Detroit only has two players—Haloti Ngata and A’Shawn Robinson—currently signed through the 2017 season.
There are a lot of intriguing names set to be available on March 9, when free agency opens. However, no name is more head-turning than that of Nick Fairley. Fairley was drafted by the Lions in the first round of the 2011 draft. He failed to earn a second contract in Detroit due to inconsistent play, weight issues and a competitive free agency market.
But after playing consecutive years on one-year "prove it" contracts—one in St. Louis, one in New Orleans—Fairley is back on the market, coming off his best statistical year. So today’s Question of the Day is:
Do you want the Detroit Lions to sign Nick Fairley this offseason?
My answer: I would be open to the idea, but I would hope the Lions went elsewhere. As mentioned above, Fairley had his best statistical year, setting career highs in tackles (43) and sacks (6.5). 2016 was also his first career season in which he started all 16 games. While that’s encouraging, it also means he will likely be getting a pretty hefty contract this year.
Fairley is coming off of a contract in which he made just $3 million, but could be earning triple that next year.
Look for Fairley to seek less than Cam Jordan's $11 million per year from the Saints, but above $9 million. https://t.co/8W9lfnUV5a— Nick Underhill (@nick_underhill) February 15, 2017
While Fairley may have finally turned over a new stone in his career and may have found some consistency, the Lions can’t take a risk on the 29-year-old at that price.