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Nick Fairley finally has a long-term home, signing 4-year deal with Saints

The veteran pass rusher bounced from team to team, but found a fit in New Orleans

NFL: New Orleans Saints at Arizona Cardinals Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Nick Fairley and the New Orleans Saints have agreed to a deal worth about $30 million over four years that will keep the defensive lineman in black and gold after an impressive 2016 campaign, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.

Prior to his extension with the Saints, Fairley was becoming somewhat of a journeyman defensive tackle following a four-year stint with the Detroit Lions to begin his career. He then joined the St. Louis Rams and the Saints on back-to-back one-year, $5 million deals, but finally has some long-term security.

Fairley had one of his best seasons in 2016, setting career highs in both tackles, 43, and sacks, 6.5, as he emerged as one of the bright spots on a lackluster Saints defense. He finished as the team’s best pass rusher, and returned to form after a down year in 2015 with the Rams.

He signed with the Saints after a disappointing season as a member of the Rams pass rush rotation. Fairley started every game in 2016 after coming in as a substitute for much of the year before, and it added to his overall production.

His career began with successful years as a member of the Detroit Lions, who drafted him 13th overall in 2011. He played alongside Ndamukong Suh to form a fierce pass rushing duo, and was a key part of the Lions’ historically good rush defense in 2014. An MCL suffered during a game in London ended his 2014 season, and he never played another game for the Lions.

Fairley’s revival in New Orleans provides the defensive tackle with a team for the foreseeable future and gives the Saints a core piece to build their young defense around.