Mark Ingram tweaks contract with Saints to create cap room


Running back Mark Ingram and the New Orleans Saints made small adjustments to his current contract to create room in the salary cap department.

Mark Ingram was initially owed a base salary of $3 million this season.  However, according to ESPN, the New Orleans Saints converted $2.235 million of that into a signing bonus, creating $1.49 million in cap space.

With the restructure, Ingram’s base salary will now be $765,000, and his cap number for 2016 goes from $4 million to $2.51 million.  His cap numbers will rise from $4.5 million to $5.245 million in 2017 and $5.5 million to $6.245 million in 2018, his final year under contract in New Orleans.

Following a Pro Bowl campaign in 2014, Ingram signed a new four-year/$16 million deal last offseason.  He just missed out on the 1000-yard rushing milestone for the second-straight year due to injuries.  A hand injury in 2014 kept Ingram sidelined for three games — he finished with 964 rushing yards.  He was on pace to break 1,000 yards in 2015 until a shoulder injury landed him on injured reserve for the final four contests.

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Despite injuries, Mark Ingram has still been an incredible asset to the Saints’ offense.  Before his most recent campaign came to an early end, he was averaging 4.6 yards per carry on 166 rushing attempts for a total of 769 yards, adding six touchdowns in the process.

He also emerged as a reliable target for quarterback Drew Brees, reeling in 50 catches for another 405 yards (both career highs), giving him a grand total of 1,174 all-purpose yards (also a career high) on the year.

Consistent power, vision, and versatility out of the backfield made Mark Ingram one of the more productive NFL running backs in 2015 before his injury.  He played a vital role as a contributor to Brees’ league-leading 4,870 passing yards, while helping the Saints remain a legitimate powerhouse on the offensive side of the ball.

Mark Ingram is the third Saints player to restructure his contract this week.  Defensive end Cam Jordan and punter Thomas Morstead tweaked their deals Tuesday morning, clearing cap space for the signings of Nick Fairley and Josh Hill.  It’s uncertain how much cap room New Orleans will have once all the new deals are on the books.  More contract adjustments could be on the way — it seems like the Saints are not yet done in free agency.