Christian McCaffrey, Kenny Vaccaro

Carolina Panthers' Christian McCaffrey (22) catches a pass against New Orleans Saints' Kenny Vaccaro (32) in the second half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017. (AP Photo/Bob Leverone) ORG XMIT: NCCB1

INDIANAPOLIS — Kenny Vaccaro will not be re-signing with the New Orleans Saints, a source told the Advocate. 

Vaccaro, the veteran strong safety who was a first-round pick in 2013, has spent all five years of his career in New Orleans. 

But the Texas product hinted strongly during the season that he planned to move on during free agency, which opens when the league year begins on March 14. 

"It’s sad now, because I’m a free agent," Vaccaro said in November. "We’ve grown so close. I don’t want to leave — not necessarily the business side of it. The team side of it. I don’t want to leave these guys now."

Vaccaro, a starter from his first game in New Orleans, produced flashes of brilliance during his five seasons: 7.5 sacks and eight interceptions overall, plus highlights of 104 tackles and three sacks in 2015 and three interceptions in the first half of the 2017 season. 

He also had bouts of inconsistency — he was benched against New England early last season — and struggled at times with penalties. Vaccaro also served a four-game suspension for using Adderall at the end of the 2016 season, and injuries were a problem; a torn groin forced Vaccaro to injured reserve in December. 

With Vaccaro moving on, the safety position for the Saints will be turned over to Vonn Bell and Marcus Williams, second-round picks in each of the past two seasons. 

Follow Joel A. Erickson on Twitter, @JoelAErickson.