Mark Ingram was suspended by the NFL yesterday for the use of PED’s. He will miss the first four games of the 2018 season, which is exactly what the running back didn’t need. After seeing Alvin Kamara become a star last season, missing the first four games could take quite a bit of playing time away from Ingram.
Now, the Saints will be forced to make some decisions. How much do they trust Kamara and do they view Ingram as a long-term piece of their offense?
According to a report from CBS Sports, the Saints are considering trading Ingram at some point this year.
Coming into the offseason, the Saints were already planning to make Kamara their feature back. He showed last season that he could put up massive numbers consistently. Ingram is a very talented running back, but he just isn’t as good as Kamara is and can’t produce the kind of numbers that the second-year back is capable of producing.
Reports have also come out that Ingram is looking for a new contract from the Saints. It doesn’t sound like the Saints are very interested in giving him that new contract, which could lead to a trade.
Last season with the Saints, Ingram put together a big year. He carried the football 230 times for 1,124 yards and 12 touchdowns. He also caught 58 passes for 416 yards in 2017.
Kamara, on the other hand, shocked most Saints’ fans with his performance. He rushed for 728 yards and eight touchdowns on 120 carries, while also racking up 826 yards and five touchdowns through the air on 81 receptions. Very few running backs are capable of producing those kinds of numbers.
At 22-years-old, Kamara is the future for the Saints in the backfield. Sean Payton is going to want to get the young running back as many touches as possible moving forward, which could mean less usage for Ingram.
If the Saints do put Ingram on the block, quite a few teams are going to come calling. Ingram is still a quality starting running back that many teams would trade for to upgrade their backfield.
No matter what ends up happening, the Saints are going to be a tough team to beat in the NFC. Ingram and Kamara do form a lethal dual-back system, but Kamara is going to continue taking more of Ingram’s carries moving forward. With Ingram’s contract expiring following the 2018 season, it would be wise for the Saints to gauge his value on the trade market.