After a sabbatical of two and a half seasons, longtime New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram has returned home. Earlier this week, Ingram was traded from the Houston Texans back to New Orleans, giving him another opportunity to play for the same team he starred on from 2011 until 2018.
Naturally, the opportunity to return to the Big Easy and continue to build his legacy with the Saints was a welcome one. But while speaking to the media, took a moment to thank the Texans, head coach David Culley, and general manager Nick Caserio for the way the "transparent and honest" approach they took to trading him.
According to Ingram, the Texans had not been looking to deal with with the NFL's trade deadline looming, but made an exception for New Orleans considering Ingram's history with the franchise.
Ingram said the Texans said if any other team had called about trading for him, it wouldn't have been a discussion but out of respect for him and how he started here they wanted to give him the option
Ingram on the trade: pic.twitter.com/BIhsKJ9dIC— New Orleans Saints (@Saints) October 29, 2021
"They said the Saints called and they inquired about me and that they want me, and they said that if it was any other team this wouldn't even be a discussion. But out of respect for me and what I've done throughout my career and just how I started here, that they wanted to give me the option to make a decision and just let me sleep on it," Ingram said. "And I went in and I was told them, I was like 'Coach Culley, Nick, I appreciate you guys for giving me a chance, giving me an opportunity to play ball and believing in me.' And I don't take that for granted ... They gave me a chance, they believed in me.
"But to be able to have the opportunity to go back home where I started and be able to help them fight for a championship is almost something I couldn't pass up."
The Heisman Trophy winner in 2009 at Alabama, Ingram was the No. 28-overall pick by the Saints in the 2011 NFL Draft and starred for them throughout the 2010s, making two Pro Bowls and ranking