The New Orleans Saints announced Monday that they have placed defensive tackle Nick Fairley on the reserve/non-football illness list, ruling him out for the 2017 season and placing his career in jeopardy. As one of the perks of signing a new contract, Fairley is due to take home $9 million guaranteed, which included a $8 million signing bonus.
Fairley visited a cardiologist last month and since then has been away from OTAs and out of communication with many of his teammates. Given that lack of experience inside, the loss of Fairley is a significant issue for the Saints with training camp starting at the end of July. However, a doctor has said that his career should not continue, according to Saints head coach Sean Payton.
Fairley has played for three different teams since being drafted 13th overall in 2011. The Saints and Fairley had been consulting with doctors how best to proceed with his medical situation.
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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Fairley joined the Saints last season after being drafted by the Detroit Lions in 2011 and spending a season with the St. Louis Rams. He will miss this upcoming season.
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.