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Saints cut Nick Fairley with non-football illness designation

The Nick Fairley saga appears to be over in New Orleans.

NFL: New Orleans Saints at Arizona Cardinals Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Per ESPN’s Field Yates, which has since been confirmed by several media outlets, the New Orleans Saints are cutting veteran defensive tackle Nick Fairley with a non-football illness designation.

The Advocate’s Nick Underhill notes that Fairley had some money and guarantees coming due, and the grievances over his contract are still ongoing. Fairley originally signed a 4-year, $28 million deal with the Saints prior to the 2017 season, but never saw the field due to a heart condition the doctors caught.

Fairley, who recently turned 30 at the end of January, will likely never play football again. He was set to count as a $7 million hit against the team’s salary cap (or 3.9% of the total) with a base salary of $4.25 million. He was contracted through 2020, and was due a $2 million prorated bonus along with a $750,000 roster bonus.

Head Coach Sean Payton was recently asked about Fairley’s football future, to which he responded that it was a question for Mickey (Loomis). One would fully expect the grievance process that’s handled by the NFL’s Management Council to get ugly.