Two and a half seasons after leaving in free agency, Mark Ingram Jr. is headed back to New Orleans.
The Saints traded for the veteran running back on Wednesday in a deal expected to send late-round picks to the Houstons Texans, according to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) October 27, 2021
Ingram spent the first eight seasons of his career with the Saints, who drafted him 28th overall out of Alabama in 2011. Following the 2018 season, he joined the Baltimore Ravens in free agency, where he saw success running alongside Lamar Jackson but ultimately fell into a secondary role after the team drafted J.K. Dobbins.
After his release last offseason, Ingram signed a one-year, $2.5 million deal with the rebuilding Texans. He has posted 294 rushing yards and one touchdown in seven games with Houston, averaging a career-low 3.2 yards per rush.
Texans and Saints stars have differing reactions to Mark Ingram trade
The news of Ingram's trade was met with joy from Saints star Alvin Kamara, who split carries with Ingram during his first two seasons in New Orleans. Ingram is a notoriously positive locker room presence, so it's not a surprise his old teammates are happy to see him back.
On the other end of the spectrum, one of the few veteran players left in Houston was, well ... let's just say he's unhappy about how things are going down.
If there's a silver lining for Cooks, it's that he could be on the move soon too.
Ingram close to becoming Saints' all-time leading rusher
During his time in New Orleans, Ingram posted 6,007 rushing yards and 50 rushing touchdowns. That touchdown mark is a team record, and he is only 89 yards short of Deuce McAllister for the Saints' all-time rushing record.
Barring a sudden injury, it now seems quite likely he takes the record once he reaches the field. The Saints have a glaring need at running back behind Kamara, who is the only running back on the Saints' active roster with more than 10 rushing yards this season.
Of course, it may just be a matter of time before Kamara, who has 3,759 career rushing yards, takes the record himself.