Baltimore Ravens veteran running back Mark Ingram had to see the writing on the wall. The former Heisman winner and three-time Pro Bowler was a healthy scratch for each of their two postseason games, last Saturday’s loss to the Buffalo Bills in the AFC divisional playoffs included.
With Ingram set to count north of $6.2 million against the cap in 2021, it really didn’t make much sense for the Ravens to retain the 31-year-old back. That’s especially true with impressive 2020 second-round pick J.K. Dobbins set to lead the charge moving forward. As a result, the Ravens have done Ingram a solid by letting him hit free agency early.
NFL Media’s Tom Pelissero was the first to report the news Monday evening. However, a previous tweet from Ingram himself seemed to foretell something was going on behind the scenes. In it, the former New Orleans Saints first-round pick thanked the Ravens’ organization and its fans.
Thank you Mr.Bisciotti and the Ravens for being a first class organization. I love the real ones in flock nation that supported me and showed luv! My blood brothers, whats understood Ain gotta be explained. Best is still ahead, cant wait! Watch God work.#GodWins #BigTrussForever pic.twitter.com/Hx0GZrSIrz— Mark Ingram II (@markingram21) January 19, 2021
Ingram put up just 299 rushing yards at a clip of 4.2 yards per rush this past season for the Ravens. That came on the heels of a stellar initial campaign in Maryland that saw Ingram record 1,265 total yards and 15 touchdowns en route to earning his third career Pro Bowl appearance.
In addition to Dobbins, Baltimore has another stud young back in Gus Edwards to carry the load. The two combined for nearly 1,800 total yards and 15 touchdowns during the regular season.
As for Ingram, he’s said to be 100% and wants to keep playing. Contending teams are going to be interested in him.
Now that Ingram has hit free agency a good two months before it actually opens, there’s a chance he finds a job here soon. With five seasons of north of 1,100 total yards under Ingram's belt, some team will take a chance on that track record.