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Adrian Peterson to Reportedly Sign with Saints: How will this affect Mark Ingram in 2017?

Mark Ingram running against the Rams
Jeff Curry - USA TODAY Sports

According to reports from Ian Rapoport, ex-Minnesota Vikings running back is set to sign a deal with the New Orleans Saints earning him more than $3M in 2017. The Saints have been searching for a talented running back since they drafted Heisman winners Reggie Bush second-overall in 2006 and Mark Ingram 28th-overall in 2011. Though Reggie Bush has since been traded, Mark Ingram Jr. led the Saints in rushing a season ago with 1043 yards on 205 attempts – both career-highs – to go with six touchdowns.

Peterson – a former NFL MVP – was sidelined through most of the 2016 season with a knee injury after an outstanding 2015 campaign in which he amassed 1485 yards on 327 carries including 11 touchdowns. At 32-years-old, though, many doubt Peterson will ever be able to return to form. However, the Saints could have the perfect set-up for Peterson to once again revive his career at the end of its life.

Alabama’s first ever Heisman winner, Mark Ingram Jr., will likely fall behind Peterson on the depth chart come fall, but that doesn’t mean his production will fall as well. Ingram Jr. – who signed a 4 year/$16M contract in the 2015 off season – has yet to start all 16 games in a season throughout his six-year career due to a handful of miscellaneous injuries.

After a career-high season with ‘Who Dat?’ nation, expectations have once again risen for Mark. While Adrian Peterson will garner more media attention, the carries will likely be split 50-50 as to allow both backs to stay healthy and productive throughout the entirety of the season. With the loss of Brandon Cooks this off-season to the Patriots, the Saints lack big-play receivers for Drew Brees to throw to downfield meaning Sean Payton and company may look to the running game as the engine for 2017’s offense.

Realistically, the one-two punch of AP and Ingram Jr. should give opponents something to think about besides Brees’ arm. While on paper, it would seem this could negatively affect Ingram’s potential both on the field and in fantasy leagues, this could actually turn out to be a blessing in disguise for both players.

Jake Weaver is a contributor for TD Alabama Magazine and Bama Hoops Hype. You can contact him via email at [email protected], phone at 205-612-5060, and follow him on Twitter for sports news/commentary @JAWeaver0

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