The New Orleans Saints tried to work a deal with free agent running back Mark Ingram, but the two sides weren’t able to reach an agreement. Ingram’s agents took too long to respond to the Saints, who had to move quickly to sign Latavius Murray. If New Orleans waited to pursue Murray, they risked losing both him and Ingram.
In the end, fear of that outcome forced their hand; Murray signed with New Orleans, Ingram joined the Baltimore Ravens, and Saints head coach Sean Payton wants it known that he wishes things had gone differently.
“It happened pretty quickly, “Payton began, addressing members of the media at the coaches’ breakfast during league meetings in Phoenix, “Look, I’m excited for Mark’s opportunity. He’s been a tremendous player for us and leader for us. It was frustrating because I felt there was little dialogue.”
Payton elaborated on his complaint with the logistics of these negotiations: “Usually I’m able to visit with the player and I wasn’t able to. So the ins and outs specifically and how that unfolded is still to me a little bit cloudy. I tried texted (Ingram), tried calling him, direct message. He texted me back and then the next day we weren’t able to speak.”
So basically, Payton wasn’t able to make his personal sales pitch to Ingram, and that’s continued to bother him. Still, he’s satisfied with the alternative they picked up in Murray: “I’m excited about Latavius joining our team. We’ve had coaches who were on a team with him. We’ll have a clear vision for him.”