Running back Mark Ingram signs one-year extension worth $2.8 million before trade to New Orleans Saints, sources say

HOUSTON -- Soon-to-be New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram signed a one-year extension through 2022 that is worth up to $2.8 million, sources told ESPN's Field Yates.

The deal was signed before Ingram was officially traded to New Orleans, as he received a $250,000 signing bonus from Houston and agreed to reduce his base salary rate from $1.5 million to $1.075 million for this year, while also getting rid of his per-game roster bonuses for this year ($29,411.76 per game). This extension reduces Ingram's cap charge in 2021, which will now be about $657,000, Yates reports.

In 2022, Ingram will earn a $1.5 million base salary, a $300,000 roster bonus due on the fifth day of the league year, up to $500,000 in per-game roster bonuses and up to $500,000 via incentives. Houston will receive a 2024 seventh-round pick as part of the trade, per ESPN's Adam Schefter, as it continues to add draft capital.

Ingram said he appreciated the Texans for giving him this opportunity after the Saints called and inquired about his availability.

"They said if this was any other team this wouldn't even be a discussion," Ingram said. "But out of respect for me and what I've done throughout my career and how I started [in New Orleans], they wanted to give me the option to make a decision and just let me sleep on it. And I went in and I told them, 'Coach [David] Culley, Nick [Caserio], I appreciate you guys for giving me the opportunity to play ball and believing in me.' I don't take that for granted.

"But to be able to have the opportunity to go back home where I started and to be able to help them fight for a championship, it's almost something that I couldn't pass up."

This move helps the Saints, who have faced severe salary-cap constraints all year. New Orleans shaved more than $110 million to get under the cap in March and has routinely come up with some of the league's most unique cap wrinkles under general manager Mickey Loomis and VP of football administration Khai Harley.

The trade also reunites Ingram with running back Alvin Kamara. At one point, the pair comprised one of the best running back duos in NFL history. Nicknamed "Boom and Zoom," they became the first duo ever to both surpass 1,500 scrimmage yards in the same season in 2017, and the first in more than 40 years to both make the initial Pro Bowl roster.

"Aye @markingramII ..... we back," Kamara tweeted in response to the reported trade.

Ingram said he and Kamara had talked about the idea of a possible reunion even before they knew the team was considering it. "I was like, 'You need some help over there or what?'" Ingram said of Kamara's increased workload this season. "'I'm watching you. You're getting all the touches.'"

The Saints desperately needed running back depth after releasing veteran Latavius Murray in September and losing backup Tony Jones Jr. to injury.

Ingram, 31, spent his first eight seasons in New Orleans after being drafted in the first round in 2011, tallying 6,007 rushing yards, 1,598 receiving yards and 55 touchdowns before the Saints let him leave as a free agent in 2019. Ingram spent the 2019 and 2020 seasons in Baltimore.

Ingram is just 89 rushing yards behind Deuce McAllister for New Orleans' franchise record.

ESPN's Mike Triplett contributed to this report.