Saints G.M. says option call on Mark Ingram was strictly business

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The Saints still like Mark Ingram.

But they didn’t like him to the tune of $5.2 million.

Saints General Manager Mickey Loomis said the decision to not pick up the 2015 option on the former first-round running back was simply about dollars and cents.

That’s a financial decision,” Loomis said, via Katherine Terrell of the New Orleans Times-Picayune. “The amount of the tender vs what the market for running backs has been. We like Mark, we told Mark before we made that decision that it wasn’t reflective of what we thought about him, it was just a business decision. …

“We have high expectations for him and I hope he has a great year.”

Of course, the decision was easier with defensive end Cam Jordan, who has performed well enough to justify his $6.97 million option.

But Ingram is still in search of a role with the Saints, with 1,462 yards in three seasons.

That sets him up to become a free agent after the 2014 season, but he’ll have to excel this year to come anywhere close to that kind of money in the current (depressed) market for running backs.