After the Lions acquired Haloti Ngata earlier today, there might not be a spot left in Detroit for free agent defensive tackle Nick Fairley. Instead, Fairley will meet with the Bengals, a team that could use help along the defensive line, reports Josina Anderson of ESPN (Twitter link). The visit will take place on Tuesday, per Anderson.
The Bengals have been typically quiet thus far in free agency, signing only linebacker A.J. Hawk to a two-year deal. However, as they finished last in the league with only 20 sacks last season, the club was expected to target pass-rushing help during the FA period. Cincinnati could still look for an outside rusher, but Fairley is extremely adept at creating disruption from his spot at the interior of line. He’d team with former All-Pro Geno Atkins if signed.
Nearly every defensive tackle on Detroit’s roster was set to become a free agent, so there would certainly be space on the team for Fairley. But Ngata’s $8.5MM base salary will eat up quite a bit of cap space, so after losing Ndamukong Suh, the Lions might look to bring back C.J. Mosley or another cheaper option to pair with Ngata.
Fairley, 27, ranked 27th on PFR’s Top 50 free agent list.