The Texans trading Mark Ingram II to the New Orleans Saints caught many by surprise.
Ingram has been mentioned repeatedly by Texans General Manager Nick Caserio as one of the main leaders in the locker room. The Texans have emphasized their attempt at changing the culture of the franchise, and Ingram seemed to be a big piece of that.
Ingram explained to New Orleans media that the Texans only listened to the offer because it was the Saints and they knew Ingram, who previously played in New Orleans, had enjoyed his experience there.
“They (Texans) said the Saints called and inquired about me and that they wanted me,” Ingram explained. “And they said 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 how I started here, that they wanted to give me the option to make a decision and just let me sleep on it.”
Ingram ultimately decided he wanted to return to the Saints, the team that drafted him.
“I told them, Coach Culley, Nick, I appreciate you guys for giving me a chance and giving me an opportunity to play ball, and believing in me. I don’t take that for granted.”
Ingram is reunited with his good friend and former teammate Alvin Kamara. He expressed gratitude to the Texans for the move.
“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 was almost something that I couldn’t pass up.”
“I’m thankful for them for being honest and transparent and believing in me, and I’m also thankful for, you know, the Saints wanting to come get me and bring me back home.”
In return for Ingram, Houston will get a 7th round pick in the 2024 draft.