The Saints' signing of running back Latavius Murray came as a surprise on Tuesday, with his future teammates helping to drive home what it will likely mean.
Mark Ingram, who has spent all 8 of his NFL seasons with the Saints, is a free agent and will likely not return on a new contract. Murray's contract is for four years and $14.2 million, according to the NFL Network.
The Saints made their first big splash in the NFL free agency pool Tuesday with a new face at running back.
Longtime defensive end and often outspoken critic Cam Jordan took to his Twitter account to relay his shock over the move. He first posted an uncaptioned gif that is typically used to denote someone who is speechless. He later chimed in with a heartfelt message about how close the Saints locker room is, and what it would mean to bid farewell to his longtime teammate.
To me that’s family," Jordan wrote. "I’ve made a lot of friends in the locker room and I’ve created family ties to some guys. I’ve watched some of the best teammates leave and IF this happens for real ... this one gone (sic) hurt."
Star wide receiver Michael Thomas chimed in as well. Thomas indicated in a since-deleted tweet that Ingram would "pull a Anthony Barr," a reference the Minnesota Vikings linebacker who appeared set to sign with the New York Jets earlier in the day, only to pull back and return to Minnesota.
Jordan responded with eye emojis before it was deleted.
Terron Armstead also took to Twitter, saying "it's really tough for people on the outside to understand Mark's value."
It’s really tough for people on the outside to understand Mark’s value. He brings energy to any room he steps in! Plays with fire that’s contagious to all of us! ⚜️ for life!— Terron Armstead (@T_Armstead72) March 12, 2019
The NFL Network report indicated that the Saints had not reached a deal with Ingram and "felt a pressure point" to get a deal done with Murray before he signed elsewhere.
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Ingram could still re-sign with the Saints, though the size and length of Murray's contract makes that unlikely. Ingram has not officially been linked to any NFL team, though a report from NFL Network's Ian Rapoport indicated the Ravens had been in discussions with Ingram and are "the favorites."