NEW ORLEANS -- New Orleans Saints tailback Mark Ingram could be one of the next prominent NFL players to seek a trade in the coming weeks, according to CBS’ Jason La Canfora. Although the report did not suggest that any trade talks are in the works, it pointed out that Ingram could pursue a change of scenery because his role remains nebulous in a crowded Saints backfield and he was a power back in college who got better with more carries.
Obviously I could see why a trade would make sense for the former Heisman trophy winner from Alabama, who hasn’t developed into a consistent weapon for the Saints while sharing time with Pierre Thomas, Darren Sproles and others over his first three seasons (a topic I explored in depth earlier). I’m not sure if the Saints would feel the same way, though.
It’s hard to imagine the Saints could get top value for the former first-round draft pick at this stage -- especially since Ingram is currently sidelined by a toe injury for today’s game against the Arizona Cardinals. And the Saints value the depth that Ingram provides after they traded away another tailback, Chris Ivory, to the New York Jets this past offseason.
It’s worth monitoring, though, since these types of trades are starting to become more common in the NFL. Just last week, Ingram’s former Alabama teammate, Trent Richardson, was traded from the Cleveland Browns to the Indianapolis Colts. And the Saints have seen the benefits of similar change-of-scenery trades in the past -- most notably when they sent former first-round tailback Reggie Bush to the Miami Dolphins in 2011 (thought that took place in the offseason).
UPDATE: Saints coach Sean Payton told the New Orleans Times-Picayune on Sunday evening that the report was "completely false" and has "zero credibility."