Saints News

New Orleans Saints: breaking down the loaded stable of backs

NEW ORLEANS, LA - DECEMBER 24: Mark Ingram /
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Mark Ingram

The addition of Peterson and Kamara demonstrates at least some lack of commitment to Ingram. His role is shrinking and will continue to do so as long as Peterson is healthy and Kamara is making plays. A closer look at Ingram’s contract gives us a better idea of his standing with the Saints post-2017.

I’ll spare you the intricacies of contract terms and let you know the bottom line. There exists a potential out in Ingram’s contract in 2018 with $1.645M in dead cap. What this means is the Saints can opt to cut Ingram in 2018 with the move requiring them to eat the $1.645M in guaranteed money still left on his contract (remaining $900K of signing bonus + $745K in restructuring). However, if the Saints choose to keep Ingram, they will owe him an additional $4.6M (2018 base salary + roster bonus + workout bonus). So, it would cost the Saints $6.245M in 2018 to keep Ingram.

It’s difficult to justify the Saints keeping a 28 year old, injury-plagued back on the roster for over $6M. Making it even more difficult is the idea that Kamara is the real deal. Through two preseason games he has impressed as both a runner and receiver. He’s capable of assuming three-down responsibilities and if he does at some point, Ingram certainly won’t be sticking around with a plus $6M price tag.

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Finally, Ingram has openly expressed his desire to be the feature back of an offense. ESPN’s Mike Triplett caught up with him early in training camp when he made these statements:

"“I just want to keep proving that I’m the best complete back in this game. You know Le’Veon Bell, David Johnson, I feel like I can do the same thing that those guys do, given the opportunity. So that’s my mindset, that’s my goal. I want to be the best back in this league. That’s what I come out here and work for every single day.”"

As long as Kamara and Peterson are here, Ingram won’t find a feature role in New Orleans.