While the 2019 NFL free agency chatter picks up steam, there’s no shortage of interest in New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram. The talented former first-round pick has spent his entire career with the Saints to this point but is expected to have a loaded market on the open market.
Ingram previously signed a four-year, $16 million deal with the Saints prior to the 2015 season, per Spotrac. While the former first-round pick was previously linked to both the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers, his list of interested suitors has picked up steam. As Sean Fazende of FOX8NOLA reported, the Baltimore Ravens and Detroit Lions could also be in the mix.
The group makes up an interesting mix, especially as you could argue not each of those teams is really in need of a running back. Ingram has totaled 6,007 rushing yards on 1,321 attempts (4.5 yards per carry) over 106 career games since 2011 while finding the end zone 50 times. He also has 228 receptions for 1,598 yards and five additional scores.
Mark Ingram’s Fit With Ravens, Lions
The fit with Baltimore could make a lot of sense, as they have a need at the position. Currently, the Ravens have Tyler Ervin and Kenneth Dixon under contract at the position, while Javorius Allen, Gus Edwards, Alex Collins and Ty Montgomery are among the names on expiring deals. Obviously, running back is a top target for the team in free agency.
As far as the Lions go, it’s not quite as cut and dry. They drafted Kerryon Johnson in 2018 and the rookie impressed as the year went on while flashing quite a bit of upside. Detroit’s potential interest would point to the hopes of pairing Johnson and Ingram up in the backfield. Last season, Johnson, who was a second-round pick out of Auburn, totaled 641 rushing yards, 213 receiving yards and four touchdowns in 10 games.
Mark Ingram’s Fit With Packers, Bears
There has been chatter that the Bears are looking into a trade which would send Jordan Howard out of town. If this proves to be the case and pans out, Matt Nagy and company will almost certainly look for another back to pair with explosive pass-catching specialist Tarik Cohen. Although Ingram’s contract would likely come with a higher price tag than Howard’s, he’s considered a top option on the market.
The Packers situation is a bit more interesting, as they have both Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams. Jones broke out last season to the tune of 728 yards on 133 carries with eight touchdowns while also catching 26 passes for 206 yards and one score over just 12 games. Jones looks likely to be the starter for Green Bay, but the addition of Ingram would make the situation a bit more interesting moving towards the 2019 season.