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Saints, Mark Ingram agree to 4-year extension

Mark Ingram didn't make it to free agency, as he instead agreed to a long-term deal to remain in New Orleans.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Mark Ingram won't hit free agency after all. Instead the running back agreed to a four-year extension with the New Orleans Saintsaccording to Adam Schefter of ESPN. The deal is worth $16 million, according to Ingram was expected to be one of the top running backs on the market, but will instead remain with the Saints.

Ingram is coming off his best season since joining the NFL in 2009. Despite missing three games with a broken bone in his hand, Ingram ran for a career-high 964 yards and nine scores on 226 carries (4.3 YPC), caught 29 balls for 145 yards and was the leading rusher in the 2015 Pro Bowl.

A 2011 first-round pick out of Alabama, Ingram rushed for just 1,462 yards over his first three seasons while missing 11 games due to injury. His inconsistency led New Orleans to decline to pick up his fifth-year option, making 2014 the final year of his rookie contract.

The 25-year-old Ingram responded with the best season of his four-year career. The Saints released Pierre Thomas earlier this offseason, so Ingram should return to play a major role for in New Orleans.