All of the talk surrounding the Detroit Lions‘ 2015 free agency is centered around polarizing defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh. However, the Lions still have a shot at signing an above average defensive tackle for a fraction of the cost. Nick Fairley wants to stay with the Lions.
“I love Detroit, to be honest,” Fairley told the Detroit Free Press. “I feel the city, the people in it. I love the atmosphere of basically the hard work that they bring. I’m just all work, and that’s definitely the vibe I get from the city, and I like it.”
Fairley was scrutinized for much of his stay with the Lions, but by far played his best football in 2014. He is finally showing that his potential is paying off. Fairley is athletic, powerful, and very quick off of blocks; all of these traits the Lions need in a defensive tackle. Fairley has a knack for shedding blocks, and pressuring quarterbacks. He is also an invaluable tool to helping generate a pass rush off of the ends of the defensive line by demanding double teams.
So, why aren’t the Lions talking about bringing back Fairley? It seems as if the Lions are running through free agency with their blinders on; dead set on re-signing Suh. However, that may not be in the best interest of the team. If they have to place a franchise tag on Suh, their entire 2015 free agency will be a wash. They won’t have enough cap space to create a quality 53-man roster. Fairley is a more cost effective option, but could be a risky sign for Detroit. However, some people would say re-signing Suh is also a very risky move.
Now, I’m not saying the Lions should not continue to pursue the dominant Suh. However, if they swing and miss trying, they could lose both Suh and Fairley, and that is unacceptable. In the long run, locking up Fairley could be the best option for the Lions.