Free agent defensive tackle Nick Fairley has signed a one-year deal with the New Orleans Saints, the team announced on Monday. Fairley, 28, was a first-round pick by the Detroit Lions in 2011 and after four middling seasons with them, he joined the Los Angeles Rams in 2015.
Fairley also had a similar offer from the Houston Texans, New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle.
With the Rams, Fairley put up 29 total tackles, half a sack and a fumble recovery in 15 games played. His production was low, well below the 2013 season with the Lions when he had six sacks and a forced fumble on top of more fumble recoveries and more tackles.
Fairley started 30 games with the Lions, but he was more of a reserve player with the Rams. That's because Los Angeles has a strong, stout defensive line and Fairley wasn't good enough to be a starter on the line. That should have hurt his value to an extent, but a player who was taken in the first round just a few years ago was always going to find a home for the 2016 season.
His deal with the Rams paid him around $5 million, though with incentives and other performance-based goals, he could have been paid $8 million. It was a prove-it deal, and Fairley did little overall to earn confidence on the open market. That's why he has signed another one-year deal, now with the Saints.
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