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Nick Fairley | Defensive Lineman | #90

Team: New Orleans Saints
Age / DOB:  (29) / 1/23/1988
Ht / Wt:  6'4' / 308
College: Auburn
Drafted: 2011 / Rd. 1 (13) / DET
Contract: view contract details
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Recent News

Saints coach Sean Payton hinted DT Nick Fairley's (heart, reserve/NFI) career is likely over.
The Saints have not revealed the details of Fairley's condition, but he was flagged for an enlarged heart at the 2011 Combine. As for Fairley returning, Payton said he would never "use that word never," but he added there is no way for Fairley's condition to improve. Fairley just signed a four-year, $28-million contract in March. Jul 27 - 8:56 AM

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Date:

Saints placed DT Nick Fairley (heart) on the reserve/NFI list.

Fairley is expected to miss all of 2017, and his career is in grave danger. Per the New Orleans Times-Picayune, the decision was made after consulting with "several doctors." Fairley has received at least three opinions on his heart condition. It's bitterly disappointing news after Fairley appeared in all 16 games for the first time in six NFL seasons last year, amassing career highs in tackles (43) and sacks (6.5). It's also a major blow to a Saints defense that remained woefully ineffective in 2016.
Jun 26 - 4:37 PM

Saints DT Nick Fairley is waiting for a "third opinion" on his heart condition.

Coach Sean Payton said the first doctor's opinion was for Fairley to retire. The second was less conclusive. The decision is ultimately up to Fairley, but it sounds like there's a real chance he doesn't play football again. Fairley was originally flagged for the condition during the 2011 pre-draft process.
Jun 8 - 1:27 PM

FOX Sports' Jennifer Hale reports Saints DT Nick Fairley has been absent from OTAs due to a heart condition.

NFL Network's Mike Garafolo adds teammates "haven't been able to get a hold" of Fairley. The heart condition is the same one Fairley was flagged for in his pre-draft physical. He's played the last seven seasons with it, but there's concern it could threaten the future of his career. Losing Fairley would be a huge blow after he just signed a four-year, $28 million deal. Sheldon Rankins and Tyeler Davison are the Saints' top defensive tackles behind Fairley.
Jun 3 - 8:04 PM

Saints re-signed DT Nick Fairley to a four-year, $28 million contract, including an $8 million signing bonus.

It's worth "almost" $30 million. Going all in on fixing their defense, the Saints were determined to retain Fairley's interior heat. The injury-prone 2011 first-rounder is coming off the first 16-game campaign of his career, which included a personal-best 6.5 sacks. Fairley contributed 723 snaps. Fairley will never be an every-down player, but was worth keeping for the Saints.
Mar 9 - 5:02 PM

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports the Saints and free agent DT Nick Fairley are "closing in on a big-money contract."

"Big money" could mean many things, but there was speculation Fairley was looking for $10 million a year coming off yet another quality season. It seems unlikely he hits that mark, but a deal in the $7-8 million range could work for both sides. Fairley has played the last two season on one-year deals.
Mar 9 - 12:54 PM

The New Orleans Times-Picayune expects free agent DT Nick Fairley to seek $10 million per season.

The New Orleans Advocate guessed a similar number a week ago. Reporter Larry Holder "can almost guarantee" the Saints will not be willing to pay that much. Holder expects New Orleans to get interested if Fairley's average annual value is in the $6 million range. Coming off an excellent year — and his 29th birthday — Fairley has every reason to seek top dollar.
Feb 23 - 6:13 PM

ESPN Saints reporter Mike Triplett expects impending free agent Nick Fairley to land a multi-year deal in the range of $6-9 million annually.

That's a fairly (no pun intended) wide range but as Triplett points out, Fairley's value is "tough to gauge." Fairley earned a $3 million base salary last season, though incentives increased that total to $4.5 million. Either way, it looks like Fairley is in for a nice raise after setting career-highs with 6.5 sacks and 43 tackles in 2016. The Saints have two promising young defensive tackles in Sheldon Rankins and David Onyemata, which could make Fairley expendable.
Source: ESPN.com
Feb 21 - 1:20 PM

The New Orleans Advocate's Nick Underhill reports the Saints and impending free agent Nick Fairley have mutual interest in a new contract.

After playing on back-to-back one-year deals with the Rams and Saints the past two seasons, Fairley is looking to cash in with a multi-year deal after another strong 2016. He recorded 6.5 sacks and 47 combined sacks, hits, and hurries, grading out as PFF's No. 8 pass-rushing interior lineman. Underhill thinks Fairley could be seeking $9.5-10.5 million annually on his new deal.
Feb 15 - 1:48 PM

Saints signed DT Nick Fairley, formerly of the Rams, to a one-year contract.

After the Patriots dropped out of the running, New Orleans was Fairley's only destination. Fairley found a surprisingly cold market despite playing well in a rotational role with the Rams last season. The one-year deal will give him another chance to rehab his value before heading out to free agency again next offseason. The 2011 first-rounder just turned 28 in January. The Saints will likely have to make a roster move to fit Fairley under the cap.
Mon, Mar 28, 2016 09:36:00 AM

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports the Patriots are "out" on free agent DT Nick Fairley, and he's expected to sign with the Saints.

Fairley surprisingly drew very little interest on the open market despite showing well in a rotational role with the Rams last season. It didn't do much to rehab his value, however, as he's again settling in the second wave of free agency after inking a one-year pact with the Rams last March. Fairley should give the Saints' interior pass rush a nice jolt. They desperately need it.
Fri, Mar 25, 2016 12:29:00 PM

Free agent DT Nick Fairley is visiting with the Patriots at the NFL Owners Meetings.

Fairley has also met with the Saints, and the Rams are reportedly interested in re-signing him "at the right price." After losing Akiem Hicks to the Bears in free agency, the Patriots could use more depth along the defensive line. Fairley was effective in a rotational role with the Rams last season.
Mon, Mar 21, 2016 09:18:00 AM

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports the Rams are only interested in re-signing DT Nick Fairley "at the right price."

It appears they might get it, as Fairley has made only one visit eight days into free agency. He was in New Orleans on Thursday. The Saints are amongst the most cap-strapped teams in the league. Fairley was effective in 2015, but a rotational player behind Aaron Donald and Michael Brockers.
Thu, Mar 17, 2016 07:44:00 PM

NFL.com's Ian Rapoport reports free agent DT Nick Fairley is visiting the Saints.

Fairley has been linked to the Eagles and Jets, but this is his first known visit. Fairley is coming off a strong year for the Rams. He'd be paired with John Jenkins in New Orleans.
Thu, Mar 17, 2016 04:23:00 PM

NJ Advance Media's Mark Eckel reports the Eagles have "serious interest" in free agent DT Nick Fairley.

The Philadelphia Inquirer brought up the Eagles as a possible landing spot for Fairley early in free agency. Fairley was drafted by new Eagles DC Jim Schwartz in Detroit, and he would give the defensive line rotation a true 4-3 tackle. The Jets are also rumored to be interested.
Mon, Mar 14, 2016 09:20:00 AM