Saints defensive tackle Nick Fairley ready to show the Lions what could have been (1 Viewer)

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Full Story - New Orleans Advocate

Nick Fairley thought he would spend a decade in Detroit.

He had the pedigree. Drafted out of Auburn with the No. 13 pick in 2011, Fairley looked like a defensive cornerstone for the Lions after three years, teaming with Ndamukong Suh to form the NFL's most disruptive interior.

Fairley still had blemishes, to be sure. He allowed his weight to balloon to 320 pounds, and two arrests in 2012 landed him in the NFL's drug program.

But he also had production. Fairley posted 5.5 sacks in 2012 and six more in 2013, establishing himself as one of the NFL's most explosive interior pass rushers — if not one of the league's most consistent.

"I felt like I wasn't going anywhere," Fairley said.

Then the bombshell dropped. Lions general manager Martin Mayhew told reporters at the NFL owners' meetings in the spring of 2014 that Detroit wouldn't be picking up the fifth-year option in Fairley's rookie contract; the Lions didn't believe he was worth $5.5 million at that point in his career. Mayhew also told reporters that some of Fairley's weight could be "repositioned."

BY JOEL A. ERICKSON

Full Story - New Orleans Advocate
 

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