Saints giving Mark Ingram $16M

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Sunday, March 8, 2015

The New Orleans Saints and running back Mark Ingram have reached agreement on a four-year deal, a league source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.

The deal is worth $16 million over the four years, sources said.

Ingram confirmed he is staying in New Orleans via Twitter on Saturday night.

Ingram, a former first-round draft choice and Heisman Trophy winner out of Alabama, finally had a breakout season in 2014. The 25-year-old ran for a career-high 964 yards and nine touchdowns, despite missing three games with a broken hand early in the season. He also earned his first trip to the Pro Bowl as an alternate.

Ingram's career got off to a slow start due to a combination of minor injuries, inconsistent production and an overcrowded Saints backfield that relegated him mostly to short-yardage and baserunning packages. As a result, he had just 1,462 yards through three years, with one career 100-yard game.

However, the 5-foot-9, 215-pounder finally got an opportunity to be featured as a workhorse back last season after the Saints traded away Darren Sproles, and fellow backs Pierre Thomas and Khiry Robinson were injured.

Ingram responded with four 100-yard games in a six-week span, including a career-best 172 yards in a 44-23 victory over the Green Bay Packers on "Monday Night Football."

Ingram has a total of 2,426 yards and 20 rushing touchdowns in 50 career regular-season games, plus 53 career receptions for 288 yards.

The Saints plan to release the veteran Thomas, a move that will save them at least $1.735 million (or $2.15 million if they designate it as a post-June 1 release). Saints reporter Mike Triplett contributed to this report.