Fairley played just eight games in 2014 after suffering a knee injury halfway through the season. In his first four seasons in Detroit, Fairley has totaled 66 tackles with 13 1/2 sacks in 46 games.
"I think that I'll meet with his agent down here," Mayhew said. "We'll discuss Nick's situation. There are a lot of guys like that in free agency right now. We're in dialogue about all those guys. Really, it's a matter of setting some priorities and then understanding some tradeoffs that have to happen. You know, when certain things happen, certain other things don't happen, and vice versa."
The Lions have said that signing Fairley's linemate Ndamukong Suh is the team's top priority, and Mayhew's success in bringing Suh back will likely have an impact on whether the team has the budget to pursue Fairley.
"A lot of it revolves around Suh," Mayhew said. "I can see a scenario where we have Suh and Nick back, but I can also see a scenario where we have neither one of them."
Fairley played just eight games in 2014 and recorded only one sack, but he had managed to rack up 16 quarterback hurries at the time of his Week 8 injury, which was good for second in the league at his position.
Fairley's season was cut short due to injuries to his right ACL and PCL sustained Week 8 against Atlanta. He finished with just 14 tackles, one sack and one forced fumble. Fairley is set to become a free agent, and it remains to be seen if general manager Martin Mayhew is interested in locking him up to a high-priced deal.
"As a player you could say, 'I'm going to play hard or I'm going to get in shape' and sometimes when things don't go well you go right back into your old habits," Austin said.
"He got injured and he didn't. He kept himself in good shape. He kept his weight down, he worked really hard and if we were fortunate enough to win at Dallas he would have been ready to play a little bit in the next game and so that shows me that he's turned the corner."
A Mobile County, Ala. jury found
Fairley's acquittal means he won't be subjected to a two-game suspension under the NFL's substance-abuse policy. Fairley was found guilty of reckless driving and will pay a $500 fine.
Fairley's 2012 arrest came after a state trooper clocked him driving 100 mph in his Cadillac Escalade. The officer involved in the traffic stop suspected Fairley to be under the influence of alcohol and arrested him.
However, via the Detroit Free Press, Fairley's fiancée and girlfriend at the time, Fatima Alhassan, disputed much of the trooper's claims about the incident in question on the witness stand.
Fairley had a productive first eight games to the 2014 season, totaling 14 tackles, one sack and one forced fumble. Fairley's season was cut short due to injuries to his right ACL and PCL sustained against Atlanta.
Fairley is set to be a free agent this offseason and should command a high-priced deal.
Fairley was deemed doubtful to play Sunday on the team's final injury report, while Warford had been ruled out for the Wild Card game. Travis Swanson will draw the start at guard in Warford's absence. The Lions had three players listed as probable to play and all are active.
Detroit is a 6-point underdog in Dallas for Sunday's playoff game.
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