MOBILE, Ala. — The New Orleans Saints are awaiting decisions on the grievances filed to try to recoup some of the four-year, $28 million deal that Nick Fairley signed on the first day of free agency last season.
Fairley, who was diagnosed with an enlarged heart when he went through his NFL combine physicals before being picked by the Lions, was forced to miss the 2017 season when Saints doctors discovered a change in the condition during his physical.
New Orleans can recoup some of the money by stating that the condition was not disclosed when Fairley signed the deal.
"It's in the process," Saints general manager Mickey Loomis said. "There's grievances filed, so we have to go through the process."
New Orleans filed a grievance with the NFL's Management Council, the non-profit association that represents NFL teams in negotiations related to the collective bargaining agreement and NFL Players' Association. Loomis said the grievances were not filed recently.
New Orleans would likely argue that Fairley's physical was not completed at the time of his signing, and Fairley's camp would argue the deal was completed as soon as he signed it.
Fairley's deal included an $8 million signing bonus — the second and final payment was due on June 14 — a fully guaranteed $1 million base salary for 2017, a $4.25 million base salary for 2018 that is guaranteed for injury and fully guaranteed if he's on the roster for the 2018 season.
Fairley sought opinions from three doctors to see whether or not he could return to football, and at least one doctor in Boston recommended the defensive tackle retire from football.