clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Rapaport: DT Nick Fairley Signing With The New Orleans Saints

The next free agency loss from the Rams was their one-year first rounder from the Lions.

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

After a one-year stint with the St. Louis Rams, DT Nick Fairley is headed to the New Orleans Saints per NFL Media's Ian Rapoport:

It's a needed free agency upgrade for the Saints who had arguably the worst defense in the NFL in 2015, a fact not unrelated to the quality of their defensive line. Earlier this week, Pro Football Focus had Fairley ranked as their top outstanding free agent available:

It’s quite possible that in five years we look back at Fairley as the most-productive defensive lineman of this entire free-agency period—he has that kind of upside. The only question is, can he stay healthy enough to play a full season’s worth of snaps? Last year on a snap-for-snap basis, Fairley was a top-five defensive tackle, with a +20.0 cumulative overall grade in only 427 snaps (0.0 is considered average). The problem is that he’s never seen more than 693 snaps in any given season in his career.

For Fairley, it's a chance at more immediate opportunity as he was stuck in a rotation behind Rams DTs Aaron Donald and Michael Brockers. Of course with those two atop the depth chart, the Rams are in fine shape.

The 2016 NFL Draft boasts one of the best DT classes in recent memory, so a defensive tackle early on isn't outside the realm of possibility for Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher and General Manager Les Snead.