Defensive tackle Nick Fairley isn't being celebrating as the Cincinnati Bengals next major free agent acquisition, according to Cincinnati Enquirer beat writer Paul Dehner, who wrote that the "Lions tackle left without a contract". For those considering if the Bengals could afford both Johnson and Fairley that would seem unlikely given money spent thus far and the long list of contracts expiring after the 2015 season."
Cincinnati has already reached agreements with linebackers Rey Maualuga and A.J. Hawk, as well as offensive linemen Clint Boling and Eric Winston. Over $2.3 million has already been assigned to Emmanual Lamur and Chris Lewis-Harris signed his one-year tender as an exclusive-rights free agent. Dehner continues (with copious amounts of logic) concerning the team's free agent list next year:
Among those who will be searching for new contracts next year are A.J. Green, Andrew Whitworth, Andre Smith, Kevin Zeitler, Adam Jones, Marvin Jones, George Iloka, Dre Kirkpatrick., Reggie Nelson, Vinny Rey, Mohamed Sanu, Brandon Thompson and Leon Hall.
Based on observations and reports that originated from Paul Brown Stadium, an agreement with Fairley may have been close, but Tampa Bay's decision to release Michael Johnson changed everything. Now the Bengals are assessing the situation to see if they can reunite with Johnson.
There are some concerns with Fairley, who has durability issues and certain work ethic red flags. Detroit has moved on and only two teams, the New England Patriots and St. Louis Rams, are known to be publicly interested -- yet no visits are currently scheduled. On the other hand, there are theories that Fairley significantly improved under head coach Jim Caldwell. During Jim Schwartz's reign, Fairley was out of shape and lacked motivation -- which (some say) disappeared under Caldwell.