Suspended Mark Ingram reportedly wants new contract, but Saints don't seem interested

When you're thinking about asking your employer for a pay raise, there's usually a good time and a bad time to do that, and it appears that Mark Ingram might have picked a bad time. 

According to NFL.com, Ingram wants a new contract from the Saints, and he's likely going to skip out on the team's entire voluntary offseason workout program unless he gets a new deal. Ingram has already missed the first three weeks of the team's offseason program, which started on April 16. Ingram isn't expected to show up for any offseason activities until June 12, when the Saints kickoff their mandatory minicamp, and that's when the drama could start if Ingram is still intent on getting a new deal. 

The biggest problem for Ingram is that he doesn't really have any leverage right now when it comes to contract negotiations. For one, the Saints running back was hit with a four-game suspension on Tuesday, which isn't going to help him at the bargaining table. By the way, Ingram is allowed to participate in all offseason activities despite the suspension. 

Although it's easy to see why Ingram wants a new deal -- he's going into the final year of his contract -- it's also easy to see why the Saints might not give it to him. If you're the Saints, there's no reason to give an extension to a nearly 30-year-old running back who will be missing four games in the upcoming season. It also doesn't help Ingram that the Saints' most talented back (Alvin Kamara) will only be pulling in $635,000 in base salary in 2018, which is an absolute steal compared to the $4 million in base salary that Ingram will be making. 

Speaking of Kamara, if he plays well during the Ingram suspension, the Saints might be able to phase out Ingram altogether. According to NFL.com, the Saints are hoping that Kamara can be their "featured guy," and if that happens, it wouldn't be surprise at all to see the Saints put Ingram on the trading block. 

As a matter of fact, if the suspension didn't happen, Ingram might have already been on the trading block. According to NFL.com, the only reason the Saints haven't been shopping Ingram around over the past few weeks is because the team knew that the suspension was coming and trading a guy with a looming suspension is nearly impossible. The draft would have been the perfect time to unload Ingram, but that wasn't possible because the team found out about his potential suspension at some point "before the draft," according to NFL.com. 

Basically, it seems like the Saints are ready to move on from Ingram and his suspension is likely going to make it pretty easy. Even if Ingram plays out the year in New Orleans, he'll almost certainly be hitting free agency after his contract expires next March. 

CBS Sports Writer

John Breech has been at CBS Sports since July 2011 and currently spends most of his time writing about the NFL. He's believed to be one of only three people in the world who thinks that Andy Dalton will... Full Bio

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