Report: Saints explored trade for Colts RB Marlon Mack

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It’s no secret that the New Orleans Saints have wanted to improve their depth at running back. They’ve brought in three different players after losing promising second-year pro Tony Jones Jr. to an injury, adding Devine Ozigbo to the 53-man roster behind Alvin Kamara and Dwayne Washington while signing free agents Ryquell Armstead and Lamar Miller to the practice squad.

But they might have swung a trade for another player, if the price was right. USA TODAY’s Josina Anderson reported Thursday that the Saints were among a group of teams that made “preliminary inquiries” in a trade for Indianapolis Colts backup Marlon Mack. Playing behind the uber-talented Jonathan Taylor and capable change-of-pace backs Nyhiem Hines and Taylor Wilkins (while recovering from a 2020 Achilles injury), Mack tumbled quite a bit down Indianapolis’ depth chart.

Now 25 and playing out the final year of his contract (which carries a miniscule salary cap charge for any team that acquires him), Mack has totaled 564 carries for 2,480 rushing yards and 20 touchdown runs in the NFL. He’s also caught 57 of 84 career targets for another 448 receiving yards, catching a pair of touchdown passes. He’s been effective when healthy and given opportunities.

It’s easy to see why the Saints and Colts couldn’t reach an agreement, though. With so many other competitors in the mix they weren’t able to add Mack on the cheap (like, say, in exchange for a seventh round pick in 2022). It’s unlikely they’ll end up cutting a deal now after bringing in so many other running backs, but you never know. The expect return of many players from injuries and suspension these next few weeks will create salary cap flexibility for the Saints ahead of the NFL’s Nov. 2 trade deadline.

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