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Fairley squarely a second-stringer in Detroit


The Lions opted not to pick up the fifth-year option on defensive tackle Nick Fairley’s rookie contract in order to give him extra incentive in what became a contract year.

So far, it hasn’t worked.

As coach Jim Caldwell recently explained, Fairley has officially become a second-team player, backing up C.J. Mosley, who now is the starter alongside Ndamukong Suh.  But that could still change.

“If you’re asking me whether or not Fairley is going to be a starter, he’s not starting right now,” Caldwell said, via  “He’s second team. . . .  But the rest of it, we’ll look.  It’s a long week.  We’ve got a lot of work to do in between and typically like most games, we’ll take a look at where we are and make an assessment on that toward the end of the week.”

In other words, if Fairley finally reaches the potential that made him a first-round draft choice on a consistent basis, he’ll return to the starting lineup.  If chasing a new contract won’t flip that switch, nothing ever will.

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36 Responses to “Fairley squarely a second-stringer in Detroit”
  1. thefirstsmilergrogan says: Aug 19, 2014 10:02 PM

    or perhaps mosley is just a better player.

  2. wilson1914 says: Aug 19, 2014 10:05 PM

    I believe he was motivated once he lost the weight (which they told him to do) but once they told him to gain some of it back it threw him off, he just needs a change of scenery.

  3. fumblenuts says: Aug 19, 2014 10:06 PM

    This BUM will turn out to be a BUST….

  4. craniator says: Aug 19, 2014 10:09 PM

    If Detroit doesn’t want him after this season , we’d be glad to have him in our rotation in Miami.

  5. poorcalvinisstuckonthecrappylions says: Aug 19, 2014 10:12 PM


  6. hyzers says: Aug 19, 2014 10:13 PM

    This is the third Fairley is second string story on PFT. Caldwell is attempting to motivate him for one last season before he is released. Whether he plays well or not this year, he’s not going to be a Lion next season.

  7. tigershark0052 says: Aug 19, 2014 10:19 PM

    What a bad draft pick

  8. lionswinsuperbowl says: Aug 19, 2014 10:23 PM

    The big man needs motivation. I expect he will still see a lot of snaps but demoting him in a contract year should give him enough motivation to get in shape.

    I honestly believe he has as much raw talent as Suh but Suh is discipline with staying in shape. If Fairley was in shape, he would be one of the best DT’s in the league.

  9. jcutlerstoothygrin says: Aug 19, 2014 10:24 PM

    Is that a ‘Redskin’ on his upper arm? And by ‘Redskin’ I mean the District of Columbia football fan, not the derogatory slur.

  10. dinodimes says: Aug 19, 2014 10:24 PM

    I love nick fairley…sincerely donald sterling

  11. troy43mvp says: Aug 19, 2014 10:26 PM

    He never really impressed anyway.

  12. 1dragonstorm says: Aug 19, 2014 10:31 PM

    wont matter Detroit will always suck.. Their players are all dirty

  13. teal379 says: Aug 19, 2014 10:31 PM

    He may be second string but I seriously doubt he’s second to chow. Dude’s plump.

  14. thestrategyexpert says: Aug 19, 2014 10:36 PM

    Gee whiz I squarely thought this was injury news from that title!

    It would be really interesting to know more about what Fairley thinks about his contract situation, and what motivates him or if there is anything in general that he’s not happy about. Well it’s his money on the line and up to him to decide how bad he wants it!

  15. ialwayswantedtobeabanker says: Aug 19, 2014 10:37 PM

    Fairley has an acute case of Haynesworth Syndrome, but even Haynesworth could ramp up his game when a big payday was at stake.

    Fairley may be even more lazy — he’s yet to prove even that.

  16. halftermguv says: Aug 19, 2014 10:45 PM

    Something is wrong here, Mel Kiper guaranteed that this guy was a lock for superstardom.

    …and Mel is never wrong (or at least admit to it).

  17. dickshotdogs says: Aug 19, 2014 10:53 PM

    Just a fat, lazy……

  18. riceselevatorrides says: Aug 19, 2014 10:55 PM

    “…Backing up CJ Mosely…” Please explain lol

  19. metrocritical says: Aug 19, 2014 11:05 PM

    Some guys are blessed with the size, strength and skill to dominate but just don’t love the game and aren’t interested in actually earning the ginormous paycheck that comes with being a pro athlete.

  20. mazenblue says: Aug 19, 2014 11:14 PM

    Another Shawn Rogers?

  21. mnjoemama says: Aug 19, 2014 11:58 PM

    Sorry Detroilet ….. You should have drafted sharif Floyd , now that’s some real talent at the DT position ! Skol Vikes

  22. respectgsh says: Aug 20, 2014 12:22 AM

    I thought C.J. Mosley was a linebacker.

  23. cribbage12 says: Aug 20, 2014 12:41 AM

    Interesting. Never realized he got a stinger the first time around. Those hurt.

  24. dino2997 says: Aug 20, 2014 1:11 AM

    ..and this is surprising because?

  25. seanx40 says: Aug 20, 2014 1:30 AM

    I still have no idea why Martin Mayhew hasn’t been fired for the 2011 draft alone. Fairley, major flop. Titus Young…well, you have invent a new word for his level of failure. Mikel Leshoure , flop.

  26. doe22us says: Aug 20, 2014 1:31 AM

    Is that a recent pic? I thought i saw a pic of him when he seems to have lost a ton of weight, i guess this guy loves the grub…

  27. jimmysee says: Aug 20, 2014 1:51 AM

    Maybe the Loins should try that strategy with Suh, too.

    Seems to work so well.

  28. staffordsyear says: Aug 20, 2014 5:44 AM

    Gotta say that i’m disappointed with this. I was hoping him and Suh would be a force for years to come..Suh will likely resign after the year but Fairleys a goner.

  29. wabbitslayer says: Aug 20, 2014 6:46 AM

    This guy was drafted WAY too high….for a one year wonder at Auburn who only gained attention via his weekly questionable, if not outright dirty, hits on opposing QBs.

  30. whatjusthapped says: Aug 20, 2014 7:09 AM

    Just reason #2,409 that the Lions wouldn’t make it to the Superbowl this year, again.

  31. johnelwayishorsefaced says: Aug 20, 2014 7:47 AM

    I really wish Mayhew would have been fired when Schwartz was. Everyone knew that Fairley was an idiot coming out of college. Just like everyone knew LeShoure was an idiot and Jahvid Best had a concussion history and Darius Slay had an injury history and Titus Young was crazy and the list goes on and on…Then last year he takes a guy in Ansah with the 5th overall pick who was totally unproven in college and who has been injured a lot. He may still turn out to be a good player but something tells me he’s always going to be hurt.
    For some reason people defend Mayhew. Sure he drafted Suh and Stafford and Megatron but those were such no brainers that any idiot off the street would have known to take them. The only pick of his that I can think of that wasn’t totally obvious that has worked out well has been Larry Warford in the 3rd last year.

  32. backtoreality1 says: Aug 20, 2014 8:10 AM

    The thing that infuriated me about Nick Fairley last year was that he would make a great play then have to run off to the sidelines to catch his breath for the next one.

  33. purpleguy says: Aug 20, 2014 10:06 AM

    One of my favorite PFT comments from a couple of years ago bears repeating:

    Row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream,

    Fairley, Fairley, Fairley,

    Your career is but a dream.

  34. In Teddy We Trust says: Aug 20, 2014 10:14 AM

    This is the guy everyone said the Vikings should have taken instead of Christian Ponder. Just shows that two wrongs don’t make a right.

  35. rickastleydancemoves says: Aug 20, 2014 11:47 AM

    And Detroit fans, stop telling me how dominant him and Suh are together. They couldn’t hold The Williams wall in Minnesota or the Stroud/Henderson combo’s jock strap in their respective primes. Fairly is a slightly above average player with weight and motivation issues that’ll never live up to his draft status. The End.

  36. rl79111 says: Aug 20, 2014 6:22 PM

    The Bears are clearly better than the Lions. That is all.

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