- Mayhew wants to keep Fairley motivated next year and have him prove he’s worth a new contract.
Fairley, 26, is entering the final year of his rookie contract and will make $1,723,500 for the 2014 season.
The fifth-year option would run the Lions around $5.5 million for the 2015, but it’s not a guaranteed contract, so they could have parted ways with him even after picking up the option.
In 2013, he appeared in 15 games and totaled 36 tackles, six sacks, two forced fumbles and two recoveries. Pro Football Focus rated Fairley as the No. 30 defensive tackle in the league last year.