We saw an extra motivated Sean Payton last week. Will we see some of the same this week from defensive tackle Nick Fairley? In 2011, Fairley was drafted 13th overall in the 1st Round by the Detroit Lions. He’d play four seasons with the Lions and one with the Rams before coming to the Saints.
Injuries and consistency were questions surrounding Fairley when signed to the Saints in basically a 1-year deal done with the cap manipulations, general manager Mickey Loomis is famous, or is that infamous for. Fairley signed a $3 million contract for two years, with the second voided. This pushed $1.49 million onto next year’s books. His play this season may cause a restructure in the offseason.
With the Lions, Fairley played in 46 games with 2012 and 2013 being his best production years. He wound up on injured reserve in 2012, and suffered a knee sprain in Week 8 of 2014 ironically against the Atlanta Falcons.
Fairley next played for the Rams signing a 1-year deal in 2015, and played 15 games before winding up on IR again.
So, in comes 2016 and the Saints sign Fairley late in free agency. The deferred $3 million deal was a budget signing, that I would say has paid good dividends. In 11 games this year, Fairley has already racked up 4.5 sacks, and has been a force against the running game. He has 18 tackles and 11 assists. Barring one low, game costing penalty in the Week 7 loss against the Chiefs, Fairley has been a solid addition to the team.
So, does he have any extra motivation this week against the team who drafted him and let him move on in his 5th year? We can hope so, as well as hope the whole team doesn’t need any extra motivation. The much-improved defense along with the young offense should want this game very much. Our season continues to ride on winning. Losing from here on out is not an option. Please, let’s see an improved special teams as well.