Detroit Lions will not pay 2015 option on defensive tackle Nick Fairley

The Detroit Lions have told defensive tackle Nick Fairley they will not pick up his 2015 option, according to Lions general manager Martin Mayhew confirmed the action, saying at the annual NFL owners meetings that the move is meant to motivate Fairley to perform his best with more consistency.

The former first-round pick Fairley held a $5.5 million option for 2015, but the team doesn't view him currently as being worth that amount. That would make him a free agent after this coming season.

"I have to ask myself, is he a $5.5 million player right now?" Mayhew said. "There are some performances where he is, and some performances where he's not.

"I think it's going to be an incentive for him to have an outstanding season, and that's what I want more than anything else."

The Lions can franchise Fairley if he plays well. The beauty of the NFL system: The team is protected on both ends, if the player does well or if he fails.

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Eric Edholm is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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