The Saints have agreed to re-sign defensive tackle Nick Fairley to a four-year deal, per Josh Katzenstein of NOLA.com (Twitter link). Financial terms aren’t yet available, but Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweeted earlier Thursday that Fairley was in line for “big money.”
Fairley, 29, hit free agency in each of the past two offseasons, but he settled for one-year deals on each occasion. In 2015, Fairley signed with a pact with the Rams that came with a base value of $5MM, but also included incentives and escalators. Last year, the Saints landed Fairley on a fully guaranteed, $3MM contract that voided 15 days prior to the start of the 2017 league year.
In his sixth NFL season, Fairley appeared in all 16 games for New Orleans and racked up 6.5 sacks, grading out as the league’s No. 34 interior defender, per Pro Football Focus. Fairley, a former first-round pick, earned exceptionally high marks for his pass rushing acumen (13th among defensive tackles), and quarterback pursuits have always been Fairley’s strong point.
Fairle was expected to test free agency in order to gauge his market value, and now it remains to be seen if he was able to secure the $10MM annual salary he was targeting. Fairley ranked as PFR’s No. 7 free agent interior defender.
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