NEW ORLEANS (AP) — New Orleans Saints have exercised the fifth-year option on defensive end and 2018 first-round draft choice Marcus Davenport, general manager Mickey Loomis said Thursday.

The 6-foot-6, 265-pound Davenport, for whom the Saints traded up to draft 14th overall out of Texas-San Antonio, has played in 37 games with 14 starts and has 12 1/2 career sacks.

Davenport played in 11 games with one start last season after missing the first four weeks of the season with an elbow injury. He made 22 tackles in 2020, including 1 1/2 sacks.

The move keeps Davenport in New Orleans for the next two seasons, barring a trade. He's due a base salary of $2.35 million this coming season and $9.55 million in 2022.

The deadline to exercise fifth-year options on 2018 draft choices is May 3.

During the current free agency period, the Saints lost defensive end Trey Hendrickson, who was the club's sack leader last season with a career-high 13 1/2 and has signed with Cincinnati.

Davenport is a projected starter next season along with 10-year veteran end Cameron Jordan.

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