The New Orleans Saints shocked many when they traded away Darren Sproles earlier this offseason, but the lack of the speedy Sproles should create more opportunities for fellow running backs on the roster like brusier Mark Ingram.
The former Alabama star was none too pleased with New Orleans when they decided to decline his fifth-year option a few months ago, but now the running back says he plans to use the contractual status as motivation.
“It’s motivation,” Ingram stated about being in the final season of his rookie deal. “I’m coming up on a contract year. I’m an unrestricted free agent after this year, so we’ll see what happens.”
The Saints are likely thrilled that Ingram has some motivation to improve, even if it’s out of anger, considering he’s been a relatively large disappointment during his first few seasons in the NFL.
Of course, at times Ingram, a former Heisman Trophy winner, has shown the flashes that made him a college star but consistency has been his issue.
Playing time has also been a problem for Ingram and while the lack of Sproles will likely allow him to see the field a touch more, he’ll still need to battle with both Pierre Thomas and Khiry Robinson as the trio form a three-headed running back by committee approach.
Ingram, who could find himself as the goal line back this season has 1,462 yards and 11 touchdowns during his four professional seasons, one of which was all but erased due to a toe injury in 2013.