Mark Ingram‘s time with the Ravens is, as a practical matter, over.
Yes, he’s still on the team. Yes, he’d possibly play again this year if a rash of injuries forced him into the lineup.
But if there was any doubt about his future, there should be none now. Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports that Ingram will be a healthy scratch for tonight’s playoff game against the Bills.
“Ingram is fully healthy and is said to understand that this is a business decision for Baltimore due to salary-cap considerations,” Schefter says.
The business decision is this: Ingram has a base salary of $5 million in 2021. Surely, he’ll be cut before that number hits the cap on March 17.
Under the 2020 CBA, if Ingram were to suffer a serious injury that would prevent him from playing for the Ravens or anyone else in 2021, he’d be entitled to $2 million. Also under the CBA, the first $1.2 million of that payment would count against the salary cap. (The other $800,000 would be treated as player benefit costs.)
Thus, the Ravens are trying to avoid an unnecessary cap charge in 2021 of $1.2 million by putting Ingram on the field again. With J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards getting it done at the tailback position, it’s a no-brainer for a team that is poised to part way with Ingram, anyway.
Then again, it’s only $1.2 million dollars. If the Ravens saw real value in playing Ingram as they pursue a championship, they would. Clearly, they don’t.
In 2020, Ingram had a career-low 72 carries and a career-low 299 rushing yards. With 7,324 rushing yards since entering the league in 2011, Ingram ranks 60th on the all-time rushing list, with more yardage than Hall of Famer Leroy Kelly, DeMarco Murray, Curt Warner, Robert Smith, Hall of Famer John Henry Johnson, and Arian Foster.