The Saints have begun to examine ways to recoup a portion of the money already paid to defensive tackle Nick Fairley after placing him on the non-football injury list earlier today, according to Josh Katzenstein of NOLA.com. Doctors ruled a heart condition won’t allow Fairley to play in 2017.
The NFI allows a club to withhold a player’s salary, and though most teams opt not to use such a punishment, clubs certainly hold that right. In many cases, such as the 2016 standoff between Desmond Bryant and the Browns, the two sides will negotiate a lower salary in lieu of a complete recoup.
While the Saints could try to work out a similar arrangement with Fairley, the more pressing matter between the two parties is Fairley’s signing bonus. Fairley received an $8MM bonus as part of a $9MM overall guarantee, and that bonus has likely already been paid. It’s unclear if New Orleans will be able to go after some or all of that money, but Katzenstein reports it’s “premature to speculate” about exactly what course of action the Saints may take.
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