According to impending free agent RB Mark Ingram, the Saints want to re-sign their former first-round selection this offseason.
“They said they want me back, for sure,” Ingram said, via Katherine Terrell of the Times-Picayune. “I was their draft pick, so they said they definitely want me to come back.”
Ingram made it clear that he too would like to get a deal in place that would allow him to return to New Orleans next year.
“I want to be a Saint. I was drafted there. I’m always appreciative and grateful for that,” Ingram said. “It’s a great organization, first class. We have a great foundation of young talent. I just feel like we’ve got to keep improving and getting better. I definitely want to stay with the Saints.
“Of course there’s always that ‘what if you go somewhere and you could be the main guy and do everything’, but I love the Saints and want to be a Saint,” he said.
While I’m sure both parties would be interested in him returning next season, the Saints are in a very difficult situation in regards to their 2015 salary cap.
OverTheCap.com has them projected to over $23 million over next year’s cap total, which means several tough decisions will need to be made.
Keeping Ingram could be deemed a luxury seeing as they do have a free running backs under contract at reasonable salaries such as Khiry Robinson.
Ingram, 25, is coming off of his best season in the NFL, but is also at the end of his contract and will now be an unrestricted free agent this March.
In 2014, Ingram ran for 964 yards on 226 carries (4.3 YPC) to go along with nine touchdowns and 29 receptions for 145 yards receiving. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 20 running back out of 57 qualifying players.
We have Ingram listed as the No. 39 player in our Top 50 Free Agents list.