It's not a record anyone would care to want but Nick Fairley may become the fastest first round pick ever to lose his roster spot. With his headaches piling onto the Detroit Lions, would a team like the Chicago Bears be a better fit?
Jim Schwartz and Lions coaches don't have control of Lions roster
Just when it seemed Detroit finally had a team ready for contention, like a time bomb the problem started. First it was Ndamukong Suh and his constant refusal to follow basic rules on the field on penalties. Then it was bad decisions by the rookies like Titus Young who can't control his temper. To top it off, the Lions seemed to have gained an ability to draft criminals out of college. Illinois running back Mikel Leshoure and Auburn defensive tackle Nick Fairley both got busted for marijuana possession earlier in the year and already faced suspension. Apparently Fairley didn't get the message because he got pulled over again, this time for driving drunk and eluding police. For a young man drafted 13th overall and tagged as one of the best young defensive tackles coming out of college in 2011, he certainly didn't waste time putting his time with the Detroit Lions in doubt. The team says it has no plans to take him off the roster but at the rate he's racking up police encounters they can't afford to keep him without losing respect around the NFL. While not directly responsible, Lions head coach Jim Schwartz shares some of the blame for these problems since they have all come under his watch. While his job is safe for the moment, Schwartz must get control of his young roster or he risks losing them to season-long suspensions or worse. Fairley might become only the first to go. The only question is if Detroit can trade or have to cut him?
Lovie Smith and Brian Urlacher might have experience with Fairley types
One surprise team that might take an interest in Fairley is the Chicago Bears. While most fans wouldn't want another head case with law problems on the roster, the truth is Chicago has leadership experienced in dealing with troubled players. Among those include head coach Lovie Smith, a widely regarded man known for relating to players, and defensive leader Brian Urlacher. The experience stems from when defensive tackles like Tommie Harris and Tank Johnson played on the team. Harris had a temper he found hard to control while Johnson had his own issues off the field. While Smith and Urlacher weren't miracle workers, their past dealings with such players make them able to understand how to point them in a better direction. Outside of that, Fairley is a talented defensive tackle known for his pass rush skills, something the Bears have needed ever since Harris lost his Pro Bowl form because of injuries. It is a huge risk, but at the right price it's a good one.
The Detroit Lions are playing with fire at this point. One more bad offense by Nick Fairley and they won't have the luxury of trading him away. Jim Schwartz has failed to control his roster so far and won't keep his own job if it continues. If the danger is too great, a team like the Chicago Bears with Lovie Smith and Brian Urlacher are as good a team as any to work a deal. It's not there yet, but the meter is rising fast.