Possible New Orleans Saints defensive tackle Nick Fairley

NFL Rumors: Nick Fairley Leaving Los Angeles Rams For New Orleans Saints

NFL rumors have swirled around Nick Fairley. After playing a season as a backup defensive tackle for the now-Los Angeles Rams, the former Auburn Tigers star was looking for a new home in the National Football League. Having been an underachiever for much of his professional football career, Fairley was looking for a situation to prove himself. According to ESPN, Fairly might be close to signing a contract with the New Orleans Saints, a team that desperately needs to upgrade their defense.

When Nick Fairley came into the NFL, there was much hype and expectations. Being the 13th overall pick out of a powerhouse SEC team, the belief was that he was going to become a star on the next level. The Detroit Lions were hoping that he could team up with Ndamukong Suh and form the most disruptive defensive tackle tandem in the National Football League, one that would be virtually impossible to block.

Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh
Ndamukong Suh [Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images]

The Detroit Lions were never rewarded for spending that first-round draft pick on Nick Fairley. He struggled with his weight and injuries. That caused Fairley to become quite an inconsistent player in the NFL. Whenever a team in the National Football League doesn’t pick up the fifth-year option of a former first-round draft pick, then you’re essentially labeled as a bust, because most teams want to keep top talents on cheaper deals, something that Nick Fairley was not afforded by the Lions.

It was a fairly unusual move for Nick Fairley to sign with the Los Angeles Rams. For someone who was looking for a place to shine, joining a defensive line unit that was among the deepest and most talented in the NFL doesn’t seem like a smart move. As expected, Fairley was overshadowed by his more talented teammates. After his lone season with the Rams ended, Fairley was essentially in the same position that he was when he left the Detroit Lions.

New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton
Sean Payton [Photo by Kevin C Cox/Getty Images]

Last season, the New Orleans Saints were ranked next to last in the NFL when it comes to defense. Their secondary was not able to cover wide receivers and tight ends consistently. To compound to that issue, the defensive front seven were unable to consistently generate much of a pass rush or stop the run, which made life much hard for the cornerbacks, nickel backs, and safeties.

If Nick Fairley were to sign with the New Orleans Saints, then he would be reuniting with his middle linebacker from his one-year stint with the Los Angeles Rams. Earlier in the week, James Laurinaitis signed a contract to become the new middle linebacker for the Saints. He initially had generated interest from several teams in the NFL. Laurinaitis was very close to joining the New England Patriots and competing for the Super Bowl, but at the end of the day, he decided that he wanted to help New Orleans get back to prominence.

New Orleans Saints linebacker James Laurinaitis
James Laurinaitis [Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images]

If a deal with the New Orleans Saints cannot be secured, Nick Fairley would still have some options in the NFL, despite not playing anywhere near his massive potential. Reports have surfaced that the New York Jets and Philadelphia Eagles are both interested in signing Fairley. The Jets lost Damon Harrison to the New York Giants. They’re looking for a replacement. The Eagles lost Cedric Thorton to the Dallas Cowboys, so they’re looking at add depth to the defensive line.

Nick Fairley is receiving another chance in the NFL. There are only so many of those that go around, especially since there are players coming out of college every season. Fairley is hoping that the New Orleans Saints will be his final stop in the National Football League.

[Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images]