The Detroit Lions recently decided not to pick up the 2015 option on defensive tackle Nick Fairley as a means to motivate the sluggish former Auburn star. The team felt that, despite coming off a six-sack season, his weight was becoming a concern and they did not want to make any sort of future investment if they weren’t completely sure that he could stay fit.
Well, so far, according to the Detroit Free Press, he is showing the team that he is committed to keeping him self as fit as possible, admitting that he has dropped 27 pounds over the offseason, getting himself back into the shape he was at while terrorizing offenses in the SEC during his college days.
“I’d say I’m back to my Auburn ways,” Fairley said. “I feel like back when I was at that national championship, and you know how that year went so looking to repeat it.”
What also helped was that, unlike some people, Fairley didn’t take the decline on the option as a slap in the face, he took it as the motivation it was intended to be.
“I kind of said it’s a good thing, kind of,” Fairley said. “It kind of will put me into a new contract earlier than (other) guys coming out in my draft. They’re picking up guys’ fifth-year option, that gets me into a new contract. That’s the way I look at it.”
Fairley’s maturity in this instance is a great sign for the Lions organization. Under head coach Jim Schwartz, who has since been fired and replaced with Jim Caldwell, there was some concerns about maturity on this young, talented team.