Detroit Lions choose not to exercise Nick Fairley's contract option

Nick Fairley will be an NFL free agent after the season.

The Detroit Lions will not exercise the contract option on the former first round draft pick, according to

If the Lions had picked up the option year of Fairley's rookie contract, the defensive tackle would have made $5.5 million in 2015.

Instead, the franchise is challenging the player to earn a new multi-year deal by producing this season.

Detroit drafted Fairley out of Auburn with the 13th overall selection in the 2011 draft.

He had his best statistical season in 2013 with 35 tackles, six sacks, two fumble recoveries and a touchdown.