Are “The Breaks On” Nick Fairley’s Acquistion?

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Aug 22, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions defensive tackle

Nick Fairley

(98) during a preseason game against the New England Patriots at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

In an article recently written by Bengals.com editor Geoff Hobson, he implies the team may be slowing it’s pursuit of free agent defensive tackle Nick Fairley due to Michael Johnson’s release.

"“The Bengals hosted Lions defensive tackle Nick Fairley Wednesday, but it looks like the brakes are on until they can figure out if they can re-sign Johnson.”"

Is the team now slow-playing this courtship?  Will it cost the team the opportunity to sign the free agent tackle?  Are they even worried about it?

Many questions can be raised regarding the statement.  The Bengals may feel that finding a competent defensive end for their system may be harder than finding a tackle.  With the draft coming, the Bengals could invest in a defensive tackle early on, which was likely in the plans prior to free agency.

As Hobson suggests, based on the team’s moves already in free agency, signing Clint Boling, Rey Maualuga, Mike Nugent, and A.J. Hawk, they may not have the appropriate funds to acquire both Fairley and Johnson.

Looking to reacquire Michael Johnson is a very predictable and appealing move for the Bengals.  They prefer their own players, and given Johnson’s awareness of their defensive scheme, he’s clearly the surer bet.

As far as we know, Nick Fairley is still visiting the team, his with several suitors inquiring since the Lions have apparently moved on from him, Fairley could continue to gauge the league’s interest.  We’ll have to see in the coming days whether the Bengals can score both, one, or if they’ll miss out on both players due to they substantial interest surrounding both players.

Next: Could Bengals Form Dream Defensive Line?

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