Saints place Nick Fairley on NFI list, will miss entire season

Posted June 27, 2017

The New Orleans Saints made a move on Monday that indicates that none of the doctors who have examined Fairley had any good news for the defensive tackle's playing future, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Fairley was initially diagnosed with a heart condition at the combine but he went on to play seven years in the NFL. After this season, Fairley signed a big contract worth $28 million over four seasons.

Fairley visited a cardiologist last month and since then has been away from OTAs and out of communication with many of his teammates.

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The New Orleans Saints placed the defensive lineman on the reserve/non-football-injury list, the team announced Monday.

The 6-foot-4, 308-pound Fairley had arguably the best season of his career with New Orleans in 2016.

Fairley's absence is the second recent blow to a Saints squad trying to break out of a rut of mediocrity that has produced three straight, 7-9, non-playoff seasons. Fairley has dealt with some injuries throughout his career but none as serious as the one they discovered in his pre draft physical. This could jeopardize Fairleys career with the Saints and the NFL.

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With Fairley out, the Saints will lean on Sheldon Rankins, David Onyemata and Tyeler Davison as their top interior defenders.

Neither the Saints nor Fairley or his representatives have commented on the decision.

Under NFI rules, the Saints are not required to pay Fairley his $1 million base salary this year since his injury was not related to football.

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Nick is coming off his best season as a pro with the 2016 season being a year that was reminiscent to Fairley's days at Auburn when he was named the SEC Defensive Player of the year in 2010. He spent his first four seasons with the Detroit Lions.