Source: Ingram returning to Saints on 4-year, $16 million deal

Saints running back Mark Ingram is sticking around for four more years.

Rogelio Solis/Rogelio Solis/Associated Press

 

FOX Sports 1 NFL Insider Mike Garafolo reports the New Orleans Saints and running back Mark Ingram have agreed to a four-year contract.

While the deal has not yet been made official, Garafolo reports it is worh $16 million over the four years.

Ingram was one of two first-round picks by New Orleans in 2011, the other being defensive end Cameron Jordan.

Before last season began, the Saints chose not to exercise Ingram’s option for 2015. Then Ingram proceeded to have the best season of his career in 2014, rushing for 964 yards and nine touchdowns, to go with 145 yards receiving.

Ingram first few seasons were frustrating ones for him, in part because of various injuries and also because he was playing in pass-heavy offense. Even when the Saints ran the ball early in Ingram’s career, carries were split among a backfield that included Pierre Thomas and Darren Sproles, both of whom are no longer with the club.

Sproles was traded before the 2014 season. Thomas also missed five games with rib and shoulder injuries as Ingram became more of a featured running back.

Ingram put up career-best numbers despite missing three games last season with a broken hand.

This past week, the Saints released Thomas, meaning Ingram could get more opportunities to run the screen plays at which Thomas excelled. Ingram has said he wants more opportunities to catch the ball, having learned to play receiver as a kid from his father, Mark Ingram Sr., a former NFL receiver who spent much of his career with the New York Giants.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.