Only a few days removed from another heartbreaking playoff loss, the Baltimore Ravens officially released former Saints’ running back Mark Ingram.
Ingram, just like the Saints (as WhoDatDish’s Terry Kimble points out), faces a cloudy future. Though the Ravens had the No. 1 rushing game in the entire league, not much of that accomplishment was due to Ingram.
As it became evident that the explosiveness for which Ingram became notable in New Orleans was evaporating, the 31-year-old was slowly but surely phased out of Baltimore’s game plan. The former Pro Bowler finished the 2020 season with, a career-low 72 carries and was a healthy scratch from the final five games of the regular season.
Ingram departed New Orleans after a stellar career. The former Heisman winner came into the league as the Saints’ first-round draft pick. He was known as a fiery, positive presence in the locker room, quickly becoming a fan favorite.
Many Saints’ — both fans and players alike — were heartbroken to see Ingram go.
The decision not to bring him back was widely regarded as purely a business decision-with the contracts of Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara looming, Mickey Loomis, at the time, simply could not match the numbers other teams were quick to offer Ingram.
So, has fate been set in motion? Is Mark Ingram headed for a reunion with New Orleans?
It’s not unlikely.
Both Dwayne Washington and Ty Montgomery are set to become free agents this year. After his quick decline over the past season, no one would expect much market competition for Ingram, meaning he could be had for a fraction of the price that got him to leave.
Signing Ingram would likely mean the team would either have to cut ties with Latavius Murray or significantly reduce his role. That’s not an easy decision to make, considering Murray’s been outstanding during his time in the Big Easy.
However, a third avenue exists. The team could let Montgomery and Washington walk, and have Mark Ingram on in a very limited capacity. Other than catching the occasional screen or blasting through a goal-line front, Ingram’s role might be more as a leader and emotional spark-plug than any significant on the field contribution.
Is a reunion impossible, or even ill-advised? No. Is it the best option for the team going forward? Debatable.
Really, above all else, Saints’ fans might just want Ingram back solely to witness the comedy-duo that occurs when he and Alvin Kamara share a locker room.