A bit of a bizarre moment occurred in the final minutes of the Saints’ win over the Cardinals. With New Orleans leading 41-34, Mark Ingram picked up a first down from 3rd-and-1 to advance the ball from the Cardinals’ 4-yard line to the 2. Ingram was then substituted out; Tim Hightower ran the ball into the endzone for the Saints. Ingram was irate at Sean Payton on the sidelines. With the Saints up by two touchdowns, the game’s broadcasters were wondering what was up.
Later, Fox Sports Radio host Jason Smith tweeted about the blowup:
From doing a little more research, there are indeed contract escalators for Ingram, but we haven’t found anything else concrete that they are tied to touchdowns.
Last week, Nick Underhill of the New Orleans Advocate reported that Ingram had $400,000 in possible incentives remaining to this season, and proceeded to specify that $300,000 of them were tied to yards. When Ingram signed his deal, Mike Triplett of ESPN reported that there were $200,000 in escalators tied to yards.
[UPDATE: After Smith’s tweet, Underhill specified again that Ingram’s incentives are tied to yards, not TDs.]
Ingram is averaging 5.1 yards per carry this season. At 850 yards he is 150 yards away from reaching the first $100,000 escalator at 1,000 yards. At this juncture, every yard counts.
There are still two weeks left in the season for Ingram to earn his incentives, but it will be interesting to see if any more specific reports about his tantrum in the final minutes today emerge.