Mark Ingram agrees to a three-year deal with the Ravens, and they’ve got a new starting tailback. Or do they?
The contract Ingram signed isn’t huge -- $15 million for three years. I understand that teams aren’t excited about breaking the bank for running backs, but the market indicates that other teams don’t think too much of the former Heisman winner.
Ingram’s previous team signed Latavius Murray to a contract worth almost as much ($14.1 million for four years). Most NFL fans can’t identify what team Rodger Saffold played for last year, and he’s signing a four-year deal worth $44 million with the Titans.
The Ravens got surprisingly good play out of Gus Edwards last year. He made the team as an undrafted rookie, and he was very effective slamming between the tackles after they put Lamar Jackson at quarterback. Edwards is bigger than Ingram, and he’s a very effective gut punch against defenses on that zone-read play that helped power Baltimore’s offense late in the year.
After the Ravens put Jackson at quarterback, Edwards ran for 654 yards in the final seven weeks of the season. Only two running backs ran for more yards during that span – Saquon Barkley and Derrick Henry.
Is Ingram better than Edwards? Will he be as effective on those between-the-tackles plays? I don’t think the answers to those questions are obvious.
I expect the Ravens to use a committee of backs. Edwards and Ingram could be a one-two punch. Kenneth Dixon could carve out a role. I don’t see Ingram as a strong favorite to run for more than Edwards.
Ingram is a better pass catcher than Edwards (who’s terrible in that regard) and I’m conveniently leaving those stats out of this table. I’m showing just rushing yards, though the touchdown totals include both runs and catches.
|RUSHING: FINAL SEVEN WEEKS|
|Saquon Barkley, NYG||130||721||5.5||8|
|Derrick Henry, Ten.||114||701||6.1||8|
|Gus Edwards, Balt.||122||654||5.4||2|
|Chris Carson, Sea.||136||654||4.8||7|
|Ezekiel Elliott, Dall.||136||603||4.4||3|
|Joe Mixon, Cin.||121||598||4.9||4|
|Nick Chubb, Cle.||118||593||5.0||6|
|Christian McCaffrey, Car.||96||519||5.4||5|
|Sony Michel, N.E.||114||509||4.5||2|
|Marlon Mack, Ind.||117||498||4.3||6|
|Jordan Howard, Chi.||113||475||4.2||4|
|David Johnson, Ariz.||115||448||3.9||2|
|Lamar Miller, Hou.||85||448||5.3||3|
|Phillip Lindsay, Den.||82||446||5.4||6|
|Doug Martin, Oak.||106||442||4.2||4|
|Peyton Barber, T.B.||117||434||3.7||4|
|Dalvin Cook, Min.||87||428||4.9||4|
|Todd Gurley, LAR||74||383||5.2||5|
|Adrian Peterson, Was.||96||370||3.9||3|
|Mark Ingram, N.O.||75||360||4.8||4|
|Tevin Coleman, Atl.||61||358||5.9||3|
|Alvin Kamara, N.O.||71||337||4.7||4|
|Leonard Fournette, Jac.||89||315||3.5||4|