Nick Fairley

One name that’s a bit surprising to see still on the free agency list is Nick Fairley, who last played for the Los Angeles Rams, but is likely to end up with one of the following three: Philadelphia Eagles, New Orleans Saints or the New York Jets.

Fairley didn’t help himself with the season he had in 2015 for the Rams, signing a one year deal worth $5 million with them before the 2015 season. He played in 15 games (not starting a single one) and finished with just 0.5 sacks and 29 tackles. He had a much more dominant period playing in the interior next to Ndamukong Suh, which isn’t surprising, but as someone trying to build up his value and for the Rams, it was a disappointing campaign.

Not that it means it’s over for him. Next to the right players or in a defensive system that gives him better support, he probably can still be quite useful. He did play just 8 games in 2014, but his performances in 2012 and 2013 still carry some weight, with 11.5 sacks in those two years. It might not carry enough weight in terms of the money he might be able to make with the next team he signs for, but it still keeps him in discussion and desirable.

Fairley was a 13th overall pick by the Detroit Lions in 2011 coming out of Auburn, and played for the Lions four years before switching to the Rams. In terms of playing on a good defense, his best bet is signing with the Jets, but he might get more playing time and responsibility with the Eagles and especially the Saints, who are trying to do some sort of rebuilding from the Rob Ryan disaster and see if there’s still a way to make a run for a title around Drew Brees, with an improved defense of course after a few years of being historically bad most of the time.

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