Are The Saints Thinking About Trading Mark Ingram?
Are the New Orleans Saints thinking about trading running back Mark Ingram for a veteran center?
Reports surfaced on Monday that the Saints will likely begin the 2017 season without starting center Max Unger, who underwent foot surgery over the weekend, and now there are rumors that the team may be trying to soften the blow by trading Ingram for a center, specifically Jason Kelce of the Philadelphia Eagles.
The deal would make for the Eagles, as they have depth at the center position, and Ingram would be an upgrade over Ryan Matthews, who rushed for 661 yards and 8 touchdowns last season.
As for the Saints, they need a center, which is a pivotal position in their offense, and just them thinking about trading Ingram, who is coming off the best season of his career, rushing for 1,043 yards, while averaging 5.1 yards-per-carry, may indicate that they believe Unger may be out longer than just the first month of the season.
Keep in mind too; the Saints signed Adrian Peterson and drafted Alvin Kamara out Tennessee, so they have depth at the running back position.
Peterson, however, is a question mark, due to his age (32) and recovery from a major injury (torn meniscus in 2016), while Kamara is more of a third down back and return specialist.
Both Ingram and Kelce were selected in the 2011 NFL Draft, and both have been named to the Pro Bowl in their respective careers, with Ingram being selected once (2014), while Kelce has been honored twice (2014, 2016).
Personally, I wouldn't give up a 1,000-yard running back for a center, albeit a very good one, that may start for only 4-6 weeks, but if it turns out that Unger will be out longer, I may think differently.
We'll see how this plays out, and if the rumors have validity to them, but I believe that Ingram will be a member of the Saints when the 2017 season begins.