Rick Osentoski/Associated Press
Sometimes it's hard to figure out the ordination of these sorts of lists. There's usually some internal debate within my brain about what should be "the most" or "the biggest."
This one is as easy as a kindergarten math problem. Nick Fairley is the biggest preseason disappointment in Detroit.
It didn't have to be this way.
After the shock of the Lions not picking up his contract option, Fairley responded in the best possible way. He shut his mouth. He didn't whine or complain publicly and he stopped eating so many calories every day.
Fairley reported for OTAs in June at 295 pounds, impressing the new coaching staff and teasing everyone with the possibility that he might finally be maturing into the beast he should be at defensive tackle.
Heck, the Lions even asked him to gain a few pounds back. He took that advice to the extreme.
His lack of self discipline and his unprofessional approach cost him his starting job. C.J. Mosley took over the tackle position next to Ndamukong Suh, with Fairley now rotating in as a reserve. He's unlikely to win that role back anytime soon, a function of both Mosley's strong play and the team's loss of faith and trust in the 2011 first-round pick out of Auburn.
Fairley could be a dominant force in the NFL, the way he was in his final year at Auburn. He's got the potential to be great. Not good, great. Even the All Pro Suh admits it:
It is indeed quite sad it's not happening.
Fairley's three-year career has essentially been one long, undisciplined disappointment interspersed with moments of absolute brilliance. He's proven the Lions were 100 percent correct in not picking up his contract option. He's almost certainly squandered a chance at tens of millions of dollars with his laziness and immaturity.
It doesn't get any more disappointing than that.
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Jeff Risdon is a Featured Columnist for the Detroit Lions. You can interact with him on Twitter @JeffRisdon. His work can also be found at Detroit Lions Draft and RealGM.