Mark Ingram, who played his first eight NFL seasons with the Saints, will rejoin his former team after being traded back to New Orleans from the Texans on Wednesday, according to multiple reports.
Ingram left the Saints after 2018, playing for the Ravens in 2019 and ’20. Baltimore resigned him in January 2021, but then signed a one-year, $ 2.5 million deal with the Texans in March. In seven games with the Texans, Ingram had 294 rushing yards and a touchdown. He had two seasons of more than 1,000 rushing yards with the Saints (2016-17) and a season of more than 1,000 yards rushing with the Ravens (2019).
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The former Saints running back will return to the franchise, which selected him with the 28th overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, with at least one team record still standing: he is the only player in franchise history to run for 50 touchdowns. Deuce McAllister is second on the all-time rushing touchdown list, with 49. Ingram also has a chance to become the Saints’ best running back of all time; He only needs 90 more yards to pass the McAllister mark of 6,096.
Ingram will now be reuniting with some of his former teammates, including running back Alvin Kamara, who is one of his closest friends in the league. In 2017, the duo became the first running back pair in NFL history to individually record more than 1,500 yards of hitting in the same season.
The trade is not finalized yet, but, assuming Ingram passes his physical, he will return to the city where he has spent most of his NFL career. But what did the Texans get in exchange for trading Ingram?
Here’s everything you need to know about trading:
Mark Ingram Business Details
Trade details have not been confirmed. This section will be updated once the exchange is complete.
- Saints get: Mark Ingram
- Texans get: Last-round draft picks
Details of Ingram’s trade, which has not been finalized, have not been made public. Nevertheless, Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reported that the Texans are expected to receive last-round draft picks in exchange for Ingram.
Details are still being finalized, but the trade is expected to involve future picks from the last round. A bargain for him #Saints, which reunites friends Ingram and Alvin Kamara. https://t.co/6hkL13guEm
– Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) October 27, 2021
With that said, wide receiver Brandin Cooks, a team leader whose career also began with the Saints, did not appreciate the reports of the Ingram trade:
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Mark Ingram’s contract
Details of Ingram’s contract have not been disclosed. This section will be updated when those details are released.
Why the Saints traded for Ingram
Even though Kamara is coming off his best season in which he rushed 932 yards, a career-high, and scored 16 touchdowns, the Saints know they can’t just rely on Kamara to make plays for them. They needed to add Ingram back to the list to take some weight off Kamara’s shoulders.
When Ingram and Kamara played for the Saints in 2017 and ’18, the Saints were 11-5 and 13-3, respectively. In 2017, the Saints made the divisional playoffs before losing to the Vikings. In 2018, the Saints made it to the Conference Championship before losing to the Rams.
Mark Ingram II in his first stint with the Saints (2011-2018):
🔥88.6 Grade PFF (7th among RB)
🔥6,007 rushing yards (6th)
🔥50 TD of connection (4th)
🔥207 Lost Forced Entries (T-7th)
– PFF NO Santos (@PFF_Saints) October 27, 2021
Since Ingram left after 2018, the Saints continued to have successful seasons through this year. They went 13-3 and 12-4 and made the postseason both years. However, the Saints are 4-2 this season. The Saints are still adjusting to life without quarterback Drew Brees, who retired after the 2020 season. A familiar face might help.
The Saints could have also added Ingram to help them compete with division opponent Tampa Bay, the 2020 Super Bowl champions. The Buccaneers, currently 6-1, are one of the best teams not only in the division and conference, but also throughout the league. The Saints play them in week 8 and again in week 15.
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Who will step up for the Texans instead of Ingram?
The Texans have struggled with their running game in recent years, including the 2021 season. Through seven games, they have only 565 rushing yards. They are averaging 3.28 yards per carry, the worst in the NFL this season.
David is second on the team with just 104 yards. Phillip Lindsay, the other running back in the Texans’ rotation, currently has 97 rushing yards this season. With Ingram’s absence, Johnson advances to the starting running back position.
Houston is clearly looking forward to a rebuild, one that doesn’t have room for Ingram, a 31-year-old NFL veteran. Although he leads the team with 294 yards and is tied with Johnson on a rushing touchdown, the Texans likely view future draft capital as more valuable than his veteran presence, considering his rushing game is still among the worst in the league.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.