Saints coach Sean Payton spent a lot of time talking about officiating at this week’s league meetings, but that wasn’t the only topic of conversation he engaged in during his time with reporters.
Payton also discussed the change to the team’s backfield that took place. Mark Ingram left for the Ravens as a free agent and Latavius Murray will now join Alvin Kamara as the running back duo in New Orleans. Payton said he is excited about having Murray and complimented the new arrival’s “exceptional speed” and ability as a pass blocker.
Payton also lamented the way that things unfolded with Ingram, who spent the last eight years in New Orleans.
“It happened pretty quickly,” Payton said, via NOLA.com. “Look, I’m excited for Mark’s opportunity. He’s been a tremendous, tremendous player for us and leader for us. It was frustrating because I felt there was little dialogue. At least usually, I’m able to visit with the player, and I wasn’t able to, so the ends and outs specifically to how that unfolded still to me are a little bit cloudy. Tried texting him, tried calling him, direct message. He texted me back, and then the next day we weren’t able to speak.”
Ingram signed a three-year, $15 million contract with $6.5 million in guaranteed money while the Saints gave Murray a four-year, $14.4 million deal with $7.2 million guaranteed in the first two years of the deal.