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Nick Fairley arrives in St. Louis weighing a svelte 280


Nick Fairley’s four years with the Lions were marked by spectacular play at times, but also multiple injuries and talk that he was overweight and out of shape. Fairley says that won’t be the case in St. Louis.

Fairley signed with the Rams on Friday and said when he arrived that he has lost 40 pounds since the days when the Lions were getting on his case about getting in shape.

Right now I’m at 280,” Fairley said, via the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “Now that I’m down here I’m gonna be looking for [a personal chef] here.”

Fairley said he’ll weigh more than 280 by the time the season starts.

“I’m gonna put on some muscle, of course,” he said.

The Rams gave Fairley a one-year, $5 million contract that can pay him an additional $3 million in incentives. So if Fairley is injured or out of shape, he’ll make less than he would have made if the Lions had picked up the $5.5 million option on his rookie contract. But if Fairley plays well, he’ll make more in St. Louis than he would have had the Lions kept him in Detroit. Losing excess body fat is a good step toward being the kind of player the Lions hoped he would be after taking him in the first round of the 2011 NFL draft.

If Fairley is that kind of player, life is going to be miserable for opposing offenses. The Rams already had a good defensive line with Aaron Donald and Michael Brockers at tackle in addition to Robert Quinn and Chris Long at end. Add an in-shape, motivated Fairley, and that might be the best defensive line in the NFL.