JULY 9th, 9:35am: More than three months after the deal was signed, Nick Underhill of the New Orleans Advocate has some details on Fairley’s $1.75MM worth of incentives.
There are three ‘playing time thresholds’ that Fairley could reach, with each bonus adding $250K to his salary. There are also three ‘sack thresholds’ worth $250K each. Finally, if the veteran manages to play 35-percent of his team’s snaps and record at least four sacks, he’ll make another $250K.
MARCH 29th, 11:46am: Fairley gets a one-year, $3MM deal from the Saints, including a $2.235MM signing bonus, tweets Tom Pelissero of USA Today. Fairley can earn an additional $1.75MM via incentives, and his contract technically runs through 2018 for cap purposes — the final two years will void.
MONDAY, 10:00am: The Saints have officially signed Fairley, the team announced today in a press release.
8:41am: Defensive tackle Nick Fairley will be signing with the Saints, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, who reports (via Twitter) that Fairley has agreed to terms on a one-year contract with New Orleans. Rapoport had indicated last week that the Saints were the frontrunners to land the ex-Ram.
A free agent a year ago, Fairley signed a one-year pact with the Rams, and was a rotational piece on the team’s talented defensive line in 2015, appearing in less than 40% of the defensive snaps. Although he wasn’t a full-time player and his counting stats were modest (29 tackles and 0.5 sacks), the former first-round pick graded out as a top-25 interior defender, according to Pro Football Focus.
This time around in free agency, Fairley once again signed a one-year pact, but he may get an opportunity to play a little more in New Orleans, since the Saints’ defensive line isn’t as deep and talented as the Rams’ unit. Per Rapoport (via Twitter), the 28-year-old chose the Saints over offers from the Patriots and Texans. Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle adds (via Twitter) that the Eagles offered Fairley a contract as well.
Fairley is the latest addition for a Saints team that has been busy lately adding pieces to its defense — the club also signed linebackers James Laurinaitis and Craig Robertson last week. It’s not clear how New Orleans is squeezing all these deals in under the cap, since the team had less than $1MM in cap room available at last check. It seems likely that the team has restructure at least one big contract – perhaps Cameron Jordan‘s or Jairus Byrd‘s – and it has yet to be reported.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.