Saints pick up fifth-year option on Kenny Vaccaro


The Saints are sticking with safety Kenny Vaccaro.

NFL Media's Albert Breer reported Tuesday that New Orleans has exercised the fifth-year option on the No. 15 overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. Vaccaro is the first player from that year's class to have his option picked up.

Vaccaro was solid through 16 starts last season after struggling inside a bad Saints defense in 2014. As a rookie, Vaccaro was used at "every position except for D-tackle and D-end," and was labeled by former Saints defensive play-caller Rob Ryan as the best "overall safety" in the NFL.

That's a stretch, but Vaccaro and Jairus Byrd give the Saints one of the better duos league-wide. Vaccaro is worth the estimated $5.6 million he'll make in 2017 as the young anchor for a defense that still needs plenty of help.

The move also gives the Saints a chance to see more of Vaccaro before handing him a lucrative, long-term extension. If he continues to trend upward, though, his future in New Orleans will be safe.