The Saints should not negotiate with Mark Ingram, who wants more money even as he serves a suspension to start the new season.
Mark Ingram would like to receive a new deal with the New Orleans Saints, but there’s no reason for the team to engage in serious negotiations. The combination of Ingram’s recent suspension and his advancing age make him a bad bet for a new contract.
Fortunately for Saints fans, it doesn’t appear that Sean Payton and company are in any mood to acquiesce to Ingram’s request. Even before his suspension, the team declined to engage Ingram and his representatives in talks. Per ProFootballTalk, the Saints actually discussed trading him internally this summer.
Ingram’s recent suspension will only cause more conflict between him and the Saints front office. His absence will force the team to rely more heavily on Alvin Kamara than they’d like. He’s an excellent change of pace back and pass receiver, but he’s never had to shoulder the lion’s share of carries before.
Ironically, Ingram’s suspension will only increase his desire to get a new deal. He was originally scheduled to make $4 million in this, the last year of his deal, but missing four games will cost him $1 million in salary. No doubt Ingram would like to recoup that money in his next contract.
If the team is forced to sign another running back to help spell Kamara in the first month of the season, it might hold that against Ingram as well. Not only would the Saints need to pay a veteran to come in and replace him, it would also could cost the team a precious roster spot. Carrying an extra running back on the roster for the first four games isn’t going to be an ideal solution for Payton and the front office.
Add it all up and it’s very likely this is going to be Ingram’s last year with the Saints. Even if the team isn’t ready to make Kamara their every down back, it’s unlikely they’ll want to give Ingram the money he’s looking for in 2019.
The last, and perhaps most important reason Ingram won’t be getting a new deal with the Saints is his age. He’ll be 29 in December. That puts him perilously close to the magic age of 30. Paying running backs at that age tends to end up being bad business for the team that chooses to make the investment.
After his suspension, Mark Ingram can expect to be an important member of the Saints offense. He should enjoy that while it lasts. His chance of getting a new deal with New Orleans are very slim.