- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
More good news is rolling for Mark Ingram. The New Orleans Saints picked up the running back in a midweek trade with the Houston Texans, which puts him in a great position to earn some lucrative contract incentives — while trade terms haven’t yet been announced, Saints coach Sean Payton said Thursday morning that there is “absolutely, absolutely” a “high chance” Ingram will play in Sunday’s game with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Still, let’s assume everyone dots their I’s and crosses their T’s to get this trade finalized promptly. As part of the contract he signed with Houston (which now moves onto New Orleans’ books) Ingram can cash in $250,000 if he runs for 750 rushing yards this season. He’ll receive another $250,000 if he hits 1,000 yards on the ground. Ingram also has a $29,411 weekly bonus for making the active roster on game days.
He’s already up to 294 yards through seven games with the Texans, and because the Saints have already had their bye week he’ll have 11 games to do so in New Orleans. That comes up to a per-game average of 41.5 rushing yards per game to earn the first $250,000 incentive. For context, Ingram has met that number every year he’s played in the NFL except for 2012, 2013, and 2020 (when the Ravens’ loaded depth chart often kept him sidelined).
Pushing the envelope further to 1,000 will be more challenging. Ingram will need to average 64.2 rushing yards per game the rest of the year with the Saints in order to accomplish that, something he’s done before five times (most recently in 2019). Splitting carries with Alvin Kamara might make it tough for him to get enough opportunities at this stage in his career, but it’s worth noting Ingram averaged 63.2 rushing yards per game next to Kamara from 2017 to 2018.
He may not be looking forward to playing without a bye week — Houston isn’t off until Week 10 — but easing off a full workload as a team’s No. 1 runner, with the prospect of another $250,000 or two in his pocket, has to help make it easier to accept. To say nothing of getting out of a toxic situation in Houston while returning to a friendly locker room.