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New Orleans Saints defensive end Alex Okafor (57) reacts to a play against Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the first half on Sunday, Dec. 9, 2018, at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, FL.

Alex Okafor's contract was updated in late December with language that automatically voids the final year of his contract, according to a league source.

The Saints defensive end earned the right to opt out of his contract by finishing with three sacks. To reach free agency, his contract previously stated that he had to give written notice to the club. It will now instead automatically void on the final day of the league year, the source said. 

The language changed in a December renegotiation which was executed to pay Okafor a $400,000 sack bonus even though he came up one shy of reaching the five needed for it to be paid out. 

Okafor initially signed with the Saints in 2017 as a free agent and picked up 4½ sacks before suffering a torn Achilles tendon in November. He re-signed with the Saints before the 2018 season and managed to make it back for the start, though it took some time for Okfaor to regain the explosiveness that had him off to such a good start the year before.

The Saints will return Cam Jordan, Marcus Davenport and Trey Hendrickson at defensive end. Davenport recently underwent surgery on a Grade 3 turf toe and is expected to be fully ready in time for training camp.

Follow Nick Underhill on Twitter, @nick_underhill.​