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:
#Patriots will be out on DT Nick Fairley, an indication he's expected to sign with #Saints. Should be a huge addition to their defense.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 25, 2016
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.