The Saints will not exercise an option to tack on a fifth year to running back Mark Ingram’s contract, CBS Sports and ESPN reported late Monday and Tuesday. Both outlets cited anonymous sources.
Last week, New Orleans picked up the fifth-year option on the contract of defensive end Cameron Jordan ahead of a May 3 deadline for such transactions.
The Saints have not done the same with Ingram, who like Jordan was a first-round pick in 2011.
The deals Ingram and Jordan signed as rookies were for four seasons but, under the CBA adopted that year, the Saints could exercise a team option to keep them under contract for a fifth campaign.
Jordan’s base salary in 2015 will be about $6.79 million — $5.9 million more than it was in 2013 and $5.53 million more than it’s supposed to be in 2014. If the Saints activate Ingram’s option, it will cost them about $5.21 million — or about $4.16 million more than the running back’s base salary was in 2013 and $3.82 million more than it’s supposed to be in 2014.
The Saints picking up Jordan’s fifth-year option was a foregone conclusion after his 12.5 sacks in the 2013 regular season were fifth-most in the NFL and second-best in the NFC, good enough to merit an invite to his first Pro Bowl.
Coach Sean Payton last week told reporters that there was no rush to make a decision with Ingram’s contract. Meanwhile, in a separate meeting with reporters, Ingram claimed to not be worried about what the Saints might do.
“I’m glad to be on a team that’s a championship contender,” said Ingram, who had 78 carries for 386 yards and a touchdown while missing several games with a toe injury. After the Saints finished 11-5 during the regular season, Ingram then tallied 146 yards on 28 carries in two playoff games before New Orleans was eliminated.