Saints Pick Up Kenny Vaccaro’s 2017 Option

1:48pm: Vaccaro’s option will be worth $5.676MM, per Joel Corry of (Twitter link).

12:07pm: Saints safety Kenny Vaccaro has become the first player from the 2013 draft class to officially have his fifth-year option for 2017 exercised, according to Albert Breer of the NFL Network, who reports (via Twitter) that New Orleans has picked up Vaccaro’s option.Kenny Vaccaro

Vaccaro, 25, has been a full-time starter at safety since joining the Saints three years ago as the 15th overall pick in the 2013 draft. He played all 16 games for the first time in his career in 2015, and while he failed to record an interception for the first time, he set new career highs in tackles (104) and sacks (three).

Pro Football Focus viewed Vaccaro’s play favorably in 2015 as well, ranking him 27th out of 89 qualified players. Out of that group, only five safeties received a higher grade as a run defender than Vaccaro.

As is always the case under the league’s current Collective Bargaining Agreement, first-round picks have an extra year available on their four-year rookie contracts, but their teams must decide whether to exercise or decline that option year well in advance. The deadline for 2017 option decisions for 2013’s first-rouners is May 3rd.

The fifth-year option amount for safeties drafted in 2012’s first round is $5.278MM for 2016, so the 2017 figure should be a little higher than that. However, that salary doesn’t become fully guaranteed unless a player remains on his team’s roster on the first day of the 2017 league year, next March. For now, Vaccaro’s 2017 option salary will be guaranteed for injury only.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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