There are some interesting takeaways from Detroit Lions GM Martin Mayhew’s press conference today, and he made two statements well worth taking a close look at. Firstly, Lions official site beat writer Tim Twentyman tweeted out that Mayhew stated the Lions will not pick up talented defensive tackle Nick Fairley’s fifth-year option for the 2015 season, thus making 2014 a contract year for the former first-round pick out of Auburn. Fairley is set to make $1.7 million next season in the final year of his rookie deal, and there’s plenty of logic behind deciding to state that they won’t pick up his option.
The Lions are trying to do everything they can to motivate Fairley, who struggled with weight issues last season. If he can become more consistent, then he could become a dominant star at defensive tackle in this league, and he is already a very disruptive presence next to superstar Ndamukong Suh, who will receive a mega-deal this offseason. Fairley is just 26, had six sacks last season, and obviously has all the tools to be a terrific starting DT in this league; the Lions are looking to get the most out of him in 2014.
Per another tweet from Twentyman, Mayhew added that the Lions have no interest in trading away No. 3 running back Mikel Leshoure, who will likely have a bigger role next season even with the top-notch duo of Reggie Bush and Joique Bell in front of him. The Lions have been high on Leshoure for quite some time, but they haven’t been able to get him on the field. Mayhew is going to evaluate the 23-year-old Illinois product hardcore this upcoming season, and it would have been a surprise for Mayhew to be anything but adamant regarding the lack of interest in dealing away Leshoure. The 2014 season will be a huge one for him, so we’ll see how many opportunities he gets and how well he performs.