Saints place Nick Fairley on NFI list with heart condition


New Orleans Saints Executive Vice President/General Manager Mickey Loomis announced Monday that the club has placed DT Nick Fairley on the team's reserve/non-football illness (NFI) list.

Fairley played the past six National Football League seasons with an enlarged heart, a condition diagnosed during a routine physical exam at the National Football League combine prior to the 2011 draft.

"The first one was one that advised that he shouldn't play football again", Payton said.

On June 8, Saints head coach Sean Payton said three heart specialists had evaluated Fairley. The Saints and Fairley had been consulting with doctors how best to proceed with his medical situation.

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Fairley was diagnosed with a heart condition this off-season, shortly after signing a four-year, $28 million contract with New Orleans. "The second opinion was a little different, and he's getting a third opinion or he's already gotten a third opinion, we're waiting on that opinion".

The Saints' doctors recommended that Fairley see a specialist after he underwent his physical in March. It remains unclear if they will be required to pay out all of his signing bonus and/or guarantees.

It's also possible that the two sides could negotiate a settlement if Fairley wants to be released and pursue playing for another team - though it's unclear if Fairley will consider that.