Detroit Lions defensive tackle Nick Fairley is set to visit the Cincinnati Bengals on Wednesday. Since the Lions were unable, or unwilling to reach a deal with Fairley by 4 p.m. Tuesday, he is now a free agent and is allowed to sign wherever he wants.
If Fairley were to leave Detroit, that would be the second defensive tackle the team has lost to free agency. Ndamukong Suh of course reached an agreement with the Miami Dolphins so he is also long gone.
Martin Mayhew and the Lions were able to make a trade with the Baltimore Ravens for nose tackle Haloti Ngata. Though Ngata is 31 years old and is coming off a season in which he was suspended for four games, he should help fill the void that was created when Suh left town. Ngata is only on contract for one more year, so the Lions may face a similar situation after the 2015 season.
Fairley only played in eight games during the 2014 season and has been more of a disappointment than anything since being drafted by the Lions back in 2011. The Lions could have kept Fairley if they wanted to, but declined to pick up a fifth-year option that would have cost them just under $5.5 million.
If Fairley does, in fact, decide to sign with another team, it would mean the Lions entire 2010 and 2011 draft classes will be completely gone. This would not exactly be a feather in the cap of Martin Mayhew.