Got their guy: Saints sign defensive tackle Nick Fairley to one-year deal _lowres

Detroit Lions defensive tackle Nick Fairley (98) on the sideline against the Jacksonville Jaguars during a preseason NFL football game at Ford Field in Detroit, Friday, Aug. 22, 2014. (AP Photo/Rick Osentoski)

Nick Fairley signed a uniquely structured deal with the Saints this offseason.

The defensive tackle signed a three-year deal on paper, but in actuality it's a one-year, $3 million deal. There are two shell years on the back end of the deal that void after his first season which allows New Orleans to spread his $2.235 million signing bonus over three seasons.

The one remaining question about his contract is the bonus money. Fairley can earn an additional $1.75 million this season through playing time and sacks.

His contract includes three thresholds for playing time, which allows him to earn up to three bonuses of $250,000 when he hits 45, 55 and 65 percent of the snaps. If Fairley hits all three marks, he will earn $750,000.

The deal also contains three sack bonuses that will pay him $250,000 when he hits four, 5.5 and seven sacks, for a potential total of $750,000.

Fairley can earn another $250,000 through another clause if he plays 35 percent of the snaps and records four sacks.

Fairley's top season in terms of sacks came in 2013 when he finished with six for the Detroit Lions.

Follow Nick Underhill on Twitter, @nick_underhill.​