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Saints bringing back Nick Fairley on $30M deal

The New Orleans Saints are signing one of their own.

NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Thursday the team is bringing back defensive tackle Nick Fairley on a four-year, $30 million deal, per sources informed of the situation.

Coming off the best season of his career, the 29-year-old Fairley was a wire-to-wire contributor for the Saints in 2016, finishing second on the team behind Cameron Jordan (7.5) with 6.5 sacks and 43 tackles in 2016.

Grading out as the league's 34th-ranked interior defender, per Pro Football Focus, the former Lions and Rams tackle led his team's position group with 704 snaps and performed well as a pass-rusher.

Fairley wasn't nearly as strong against the run, but the Saints weren't about to let him get away. New Orleans now has solid depth at the position with David Onyemata and promising second-year tackle Sheldon Rankins also manning the line.

The Saints need all the help they can get on defense. Allowing more points per game than any team in the league beyond the 49ers, keeping Fairley makes sense.

The question for New Orleans is whether the soon-to-be-30 lineman is worth the cost after playing on a string of one-year deals. The Saints gave us their answer on Thursday.

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