Nick Fairley was a beast for the Saints on the defensive line, and New Orleans wasn't about to let him leave after what he did in 2016.

Fairley collected 6.5 sacks last season, which is his highest career total in the NFL. After joining the Saints from Detroit, a lot of people had doubts about his ability, but he silenced all his critics by breaking into the backfield all season long. Saints fans wondered if New Orleans would bring him back, but they answered that question quickly in free agency.

According to NFL reporter Ian Rapoport, the Saints threw a significant chunk of money Fairley's way to lock him down for the next four years.

Paying $30 million for any player is a major investment. Fairley is 29 years old, so he will be 33 by the time his contract expires. This could be the last deal he ever signs, so Saints fans need to hope Fairley balls out to earn that cash.

Fairley and Sheldon Rankins create a formidable duo in the middle of the defensive line. With Cam Jordan on the outside, now all the Saints have to do is acquire another edge rusher. Will that be in the draft or in free agency? New Orleans fans will patiently wait to see who they add to the equation.

When it comes to the pass rush, remember they expect to get Hau'oli Kikaha back too. If they add another piece to the puzzle, the defensive front could actually start to look pretty good.

Fairley played all last season trying to earn this contract, now he will have to live up to it. If he gives the Saints bang for their buck, New Orleans could look a lot better on defense in 2017.