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Heading into contract year, Nick Fairley drops 27 pounds

Nick+Fairley+Chicago+Bears+v+Detroit+Lions+QH40b9hOC25l Getty Images

When the Lions declined to pick up the fifth-year option on defensive tackle Nick Fairley’s contract, they said it was because they wanted to motivate him to work harder heading into a contract year. It appears to be working.

Fairley told the Detroit Free Press that he has lost 27 pounds since the end of the season, and he’s now a few pounds under 300, the slimmest he’s been since he was at Auburn, where he won the Lombardi Award as the best lineman or linebacker in college football, and helped his team win a national championship.

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.”

As for the Lions’ decision not to pick up his 2015 option, Fairley said he welcomes the opportunity to play for a new contract next year.

“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.”

If an in-shape and motivated Fairley plays up to his potential, there’s a good chance the Lions will either have to pay him more next year than they would have had to pay him on their fifth-year option, or that they’ll lose him in free agency. But if a slimmer Fairley has a huge 2014 season, the Lions will welcome that, and deal with his contract next year.

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36 Responses to “Heading into contract year, Nick Fairley drops 27 pounds”
  1. bettis3636 says: May 31, 2014 12:24 PM

    From a fellow BIG MAN…Good job Nick..!!

  2. charliebatch1 says: May 31, 2014 12:24 PM

    wait, the Lions will welcome Fairley having a huge 2014 season???

  3. avbanig33 says: May 31, 2014 12:28 PM

    Buyer beware! This guy reminds me so much of Albert Haynesworth

  4. thestrategyexpert says: May 31, 2014 12:30 PM

    Yeah that’s exactly right, the Lions did him a favor so that he can cash in even more than his peers, and he should reward the team by not going too hard on them on the new deal.

    I like hearing this refreshing attitude and can’t wait to see him on the field, I’m pumped up and excited about what Fairley is going to bring to the table this year. He needs to explode for a monster year.

  5. deerhuntinfool71 says: May 31, 2014 12:31 PM

    Must have used that slim-fat. If he does play at a very high level and gets paid expect him to do his best albert haynesworth impression after he gets paid!

  6. azcwilliams says: May 31, 2014 12:34 PM

    Bout time.. I recall after he was drafted, he said he didn’t have to prove anything no one expect God. Little did he know God don’t watch football. If he did it wouldn’t be the Lions. It’s put up or shut up time Mr. Fairley

  7. valentino8100 says: May 31, 2014 12:36 PM

    So, who’s going to be first in line to pay top dollar for the underachiever who’s likely to gain it all back after signing?

  8. kabasaman says: May 31, 2014 12:36 PM

    Well there’s a real surprise….. Those two words can really motivate a lard butt….”Contract Year”

  9. mantastic54 says: May 31, 2014 12:51 PM

    Seems like a bit of a red flag that he waited until a contract year to get in shape

  10. sdchicken says: May 31, 2014 12:52 PM

    Now if they can get Suh to become a team first guy…watch out!

  11. lunarpie says: May 31, 2014 12:54 PM

    Yeup and as soon as h e signs the next contract the 27 pounds will return. New meaning to the phrase, ‘fat, dumb and happy’.

  12. buzzardpointlookout says: May 31, 2014 12:55 PM

    Wow. If Nicky Fairley and Ndamukong Suh both play up their potential, this year could be awesome.

    However, Fairley missed some time already due to some type procedure. Then there were whispers about sleep apnea. Not good.

    There have been flashes of what these can be when in top form. I hope we get to see that this season.

    Side note: I think rookie DT Caraun Reid was a sneaky good get in the draft.

  13. loubearkane says: May 31, 2014 1:04 PM

    What did he skip dinner last night .

  14. realnflmaster says: May 31, 2014 1:04 PM

    Headline next season: After new contract, Nick Fairley gains 27 pounds.

  15. nomargarciaparra says: May 31, 2014 1:11 PM

    I hope he lost the weight in a healthy manner. He’s got to realize he’s got a life after his playing days are done

  16. philwauke says: May 31, 2014 1:13 PM

    Why do players like him wait until the contract year to put forth the effort?

  17. noeffinway says: May 31, 2014 1:20 PM

    SLEEP APNEA! Why do you all want to ignore this part of the story. Fairley suffers from sleep apnea. He recently underwent a surgical procedure to help with that. If successful he will have found an incredible amount of untapped energy. If you don’t have sleep apnea you would not understand how it can drain you. That I believe should be the main storyline when it comes to Fairley’s resurgence this coming season. Go get ‘em Nick!

  18. murraysons says: May 31, 2014 1:32 PM

    Lost in all this is the fact that he pretty much admits he was out of shape the past few years. So thanks a bunch for all the effort Nick

  19. gixrider says: May 31, 2014 1:51 PM

    I’m always wary of a player who needs the “contract year” to get motivated. As talented as he may be, he will never be great. Good…maybe even really good…but never great. The great ones didn’t wait until contract years to get motivated. If money is your primary motivation in professional athletics, what happens after you attain it?

  20. thestrategyexpert says: May 31, 2014 1:52 PM

    The Lions are also aware of what it means for a player to be in a contract year. If they thought Fairley would just put the weight back on and not be a valuable player, then they won’t offer him a contract after the year. They purposefully put themselves into having to make that determination and that is suggestive that they have confidence in knowing whether it makes sense to part ways or to more fully invest into him. Let’s see which choice that ends up being.

  21. crenshawpete714 says: May 31, 2014 1:54 PM

    Yeah, he’ll have a huge 2014, but as soon as he gets that fat contract he’ll regain that weight and descend into mediocrity.

  22. mike06181 says: May 31, 2014 3:06 PM

    Get a great year from him, let him sign elseware for too much money, get a comp pick for losing him. All wins for the lions.

  23. godfatherd says: May 31, 2014 3:36 PM

    The thing I think people missed when the lions declined his option was that if they had picked it up and he had done well, that salary would have been the basis for his new deal. The lions just can’t afford to sign him to a long term deal that averages 6mill a year. This way maybe they get lucky, he has a decent year and they can still lock him up for a decent price.

  24. honalulublue says: May 31, 2014 3:58 PM

    Reggie White had sleep apnea and didn’t hurt his playing career at all, even though it ultimately killed him.

  25. staffordsyear says: May 31, 2014 6:43 PM

    Yea Suh has Defensive rookie of the year under his belt,3 probowls and 4 all pro first teams. It WOULD be scary if he could play up to his potential.

  26. staffordsyear says: May 31, 2014 7:13 PM

    thestrategyexpert says: May 31, 2014 1:52 PM

    The Lions are also aware of what it means for a player to be in a contract year. If they thought Fairley would just put the weight back on and not be a valuable player, then they won’t offer him a contract after the year. They purposefully put themselves into having to make that determination and that is suggestive that they have confidence in knowing whether it makes sense to part ways or to more fully invest into him. Let’s see which choice that ends up being.

    So basically you decided to make a huge paragraph to explain the subject that we already know..thats great now go play in your sandbox.

  27. tahnoonzee says: May 31, 2014 7:47 PM

    Detroit isn’t going to win anything and he’s just trying to max out his cash. I hate these types of players though.

  28. smackingfools says: May 31, 2014 8:13 PM

    Give a girl a diamond and she drops 2 dress sizes.

  29. icebowler says: May 31, 2014 8:54 PM

    I kind of wish they had kind of paid me already…kind of.

  30. gofor2with3pointlead says: May 31, 2014 9:29 PM

    And that’s why I come here to PFT first. Because you can always count on the vast majority of comments to be from extraordinary individuals that give 110% 24/7

  31. purpleguy says: May 31, 2014 11:55 PM

    I always thought the girl dropped two dress sizes to get the diamond, and once she got it, much like a snazzy new contract, she then gained 27 pounds.

  32. sumkat says: Jun 1, 2014 4:16 AM

    If he has a big year, he is out of Detroit. He’s still young, so he’ll get a big contract from someone. Can Detroit afford that when they are already paying a ton to an interior lineman? Not to mention the Megatron and Stafford deals?

    The only way I could see that happening is if they decide Suh just isn’t worth his contract and move on from him. But it seems like a HUGE risk to give up on Suh, who despite his faults is a beast, for a guy that you felt you couldn’t pay if you wanted him to stay motivated….you know, since you will have to pay him to keep him.

  33. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Jun 1, 2014 4:38 AM

    Amazing what these guys can accomplish when it is the contract year. And how little they accomplish when it’s not. The NFL is filled with underachieving guys who are just focused on beating the system. How uninspiring.

  34. Shinnbone says: Jun 1, 2014 8:30 AM

    So he’s still 55 pounds over weight?

    This boy needs to learn TWO WORDS….”I’m Full”

  35. sportsfan18 says: Jun 1, 2014 11:09 AM

    Only 27 pounds???

    I guess he didn’t want to get all of rocks out from between his ears then…

  36. FlashPatterson says: Jun 1, 2014 11:40 AM

    He’ll never be great. If he needs a contract year to start caring he’s already lost.

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