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Saints RB Mark Ingram willing to ‘bet on myself’ in NFL free agency

Mark Ingram, Saints

Mark Ingram thinks he has a lot left in the tank. The 29-year-old running back is set to be an unrestricted free agent next month and could be parting ways with the New Orleans Saints.

Although he expressed a desire to continue playing in New Orleans, Ingram also said he was “not afraid to bet on” himself by testing the open market, according to Mark Inabinett of NOLA.com.

“It’s kind of like a thing where they say they want me back, I say, ‘I want to be back,’ it’s just can we compromise on the value? Like I said, I’ve been there my entire career. It’s very rare that someone gets to spend their career in one place, and that would be something that would be significant. But at the same time, I’m not afraid to bet on myself. I believe in my opportunity”, Ingram explained.

The former Heisman Trophy winner from Alabama was drafted by the Saints in the first round back in 2011 and has remained with the team ever since. Alvin Kamara has emerged the past couple of years, leading many to speculate that the Saints might want to move on and let Kamara take over completely, or at least have Ingram take a pay cut.

The talented back signed a four-year contract in 2015 that is now set to expire. That deal paid him $16 million total, and the Saints likely aren’t looking to spend anywhere near that much this time around.

Ingram was suspended for the first four games of the 2018 season due to a PED violation. When he returned, he remained productive, rushing for 645 yards and six touchdowns while averaging a robust 4.7 yards per carry. Later in the interview, Ingram doubled down on his comments.

“I love the organization, and I hope it all gets worked out. But at the same time, I have all confidence in my abilities and all confidence in what I can do given the opportunity to be a feature guy. So I’m not scared to bet on myself.”

It sounds like Ingram wants to be the lead runner in a backfield again, which would likely necessitate moving to a new team. Ingram’s free agency will be one of the more interesting to monitor when the market opens next month, and he should have no problem drawing interest.