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Saints exercise 5th-year option on safety Kenny Vaccaro

Vaccaro is the first player from the 2015 draft class to officially have his fifth-year option picked up.

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Saints have exercised the fifth-year option on the contract of safety Kenny Vaccaro, according to NFL Media's Albert Breer.

Vaccaro was drafted by the Saints with the 15th overall pick of the 2013 draft and and he is now under contract through the 2017 season.  He is the first player from the 2013 draft class to officially have his option picked up. Carolina Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman has said that the team will pick up the fifth-year option for defensive tackle Star Lotulelei. The deadline for picking up a player's fifth-year option is May 3.

As the 15th overall pick, Vaccaro's salary will be the average of the third through 25th-highest salaries at the safety position. He should get paid approximately $5.6 million in 2017. This coming season, which was the final year of his $9.4 million rookie contract, Vaccaro is set to make $1.6 million. His $1.3 million prorated signing bonus will count $2.9 million against the cap this season.

The fifth-year option was implemented in the most recent version of the collective bargaining agreement established in 2011. The CBA dictates that rookies must sign four-year deals and provides the possibility for teams to pick up the option for a fifth season for first-round selections. The salary established for the fifth year is fully guaranteed in the event of injury.

Vaccaro had a strong rookie season in New Orleans, finishing 2013 with eight pass deflections, one interception, one sack and a forced fumble. He was benched briefly during a 2014 season in which the New Orleans defense struggled mightily across the board, finishing the season 31st in the league for total offensive yards allowed per game with 384. Vaccaro started all 16 games for the Saints last season, contributing three sacks, five pass deflections and a forced fumble.