Nick Fairley returned to OTAs today. He showed off a much slimmer build than he had last season. In fact, he said he lost 27 pounds since the end of last season. Fairley credited his weight loss to a change in diet. He has started avoiding fast foods and instead replacing trips to McDonalds with trips to Subway. Beat writers for the Detroit Lions have commented about how the weight loss is visible in both his figure and in his face. So what motivated Nick Fairley to change his eating habits?
Earlier this offseason, the Detroit Lions announced that they would not be picking up Fairley’s 5th year option. General manager Martin Mayhew indicated that Fairley did not play like a 5 million dollar player when declining his fifth year option, which would have paid Fairley in excess of $5 million. Fairley originally did not agree with that sentiment, and still believes that the Detroit Lions should have picked up his fifth year. He did say though that it is a good thing they did not. He is using that as motivation both in the offseason workouts and this season to show his value and hopefully get him a new contract paying him more than that fifth year would have.
When asked if he would explore free agency after the season ended, wisely, Nick Fairley declined to comment. I suspect he has seen and is avoiding the media madness that resulted from the Ndamukong Suh contract negotiation stalemate. It sounds like Fairley is making smarter choices this offseason as a result of having that fifth year declined. Hopefully this decision making process continues.