Is it really possible to have too much of a good thing? That question might best be answered by the New Orleans Saints; who with their depth at the Running Back position, are rumored to be willing to deal. With Mark Ingram, Pierre Thomas, and Darren Sproles; Running Back Chris Ivory only touched the ball 42 times during the 2012 season. The Saints have been reported to be shopping Ivory for a potential draft pick or picks. The Cowboys once again are in need of another Running Back. Why not look at Chris Ivory?
August 17, 2012; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints running back Chris Ivory (29) against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the second half of a preseason game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Jaguars defeated the Saints 27-24. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Ivory; a 6-ft 220-lbs Texas native, was a Longview High School football and track star well known for his speed. Fast enough to earn him a scholarship to Washington State. During his three year stint with The Cougars, he averaged over 5 yards a rush and 22.8 yards as a return specialist. However, in 2009 he found himself dismissed from Washington State for an “undisclosed violation”, which landed him at Tiffin for his final year in college football.
While at Tiffin; a Division II school in Ohio, Ivory suffered a season ending knee injury which lead to his undrafted status following the 2010 NFL Draft. Signed by the Saints as free agent in 2010, Chris Ivory found himself the 3rd back behind Reggie Bush and Pierre Thomas. After injuries to both Bush and Thomas, he became the starter and posted 716 yards in 137 touches before suffering a foot injury that placed him on the IR list.
In 2011, Ivory’s stats show him inactive for the first six games, but once activated, he racked up another 374 yards in a support role. The Saints had also parted ways with Reggie Bush after drafting Mark Ingram who they viewed as their future feature back. Additional position depth was also created by also bringing on Darren Sproles. Those moves decreased Ivory’s role to only 79 touches during the 2011 season; and reduced again in 2012 to only 42 times. His overall career stats; however, show him at 1,307 yards with 256 touches with The Saints. Averaging 5.1 yards per carry in 24 games played.
November 5, 2012; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints running back Chris Ivory (29) slips out of a tackle by Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha (24) during the first half of a game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
The Saints know the talent they’ve got with Ivory; a Restricted Free Agent, and quickly placed a second round tender to either keep him in the Big Easy or to receive value for the talent they could lose. At an estimated 1.5 million against the cap, the Saints are rumored to willing to entertain reasonable offers (possibly even a 3rd or 4th round pick). Interestingly, the Cowboys have been projected to be looking for a Running Back somewhere around the 4th round.
Going with the Cowboys tradition of “sticking with the devil you know”; and given the potential explosiveness of Ivory, would it not make sense to try and deal with the Saints instead of drafting another “project” running back in the 4th? Let’s be honest, whichever running back gets drafted to the Cowboys is only going to be placed on the roster for depth behind Demarco Murray. Ivory could thrive in that role for the Cowboys; and at only 25 years old, he could perform that backup position for several more years (assuming he stays healthy). Not to mention the added weapon to special teams.
That’s just my opinion though.