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Lions DT Nick Fairley Prepared To Test Open Market

Lions DT Nick Fairley told reporters on Monday that he would like to be back in Detroit next year, but he’ll wait and see how things go in free agency, per Tim Twentyman.

Fairley, 26, was off to a great start this season before he sustained a sprained right knee back in early November that forced him to miss the second half of the season.

The Lions elected to not pick up his fifth-year option several months ago, which means he’ll be an unrestricted free agent in the coming month along with Ndamukong Suh.

Detroit has said that they would like to retain Suh, but there is at least a chance that both players could be playing elsewhere at the start of the 2015 season.

Fairley recorded 14 tackles, one sack and a forced fumble over the course of eight games, but his play has been much better than these numbers would indicate.

Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 18 defensive tackle in the league out of 81 qualifying players. According to their ratings, Fairley has been equally effective as an interior pass-rusher and as a run-defender.

We have Fairley currently listed as the No. 14 player in our Top 25 – 2015 Free Agents list.

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