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.
This post has been updated since it was first published to include updated information.