When you draft a running back as your number one pick you have high expectations. When you draft a running back with your number one draft pick and that running back won the Heisman Trophy you have even higher expectations.Has Mark Ingram ever lived up to those expectations? It seems the Saints have answered that question.

Getty Images/ Jeff Gross

The Saints gave Ingram a $7.4 million contact and a $3.86 million signing contract. Mark Ingram will really have to step it up this year if he wants to sign another contact like that.. According to WWL and other news sources Ingram will be a free agent at the end of the 2014 season after the Saints declined to pick up the option of a fifth year.

It does not mean Ingram will necessarily part company with the team. It does mean that every game this year is an exhibition for Ingram. All NFL teams will be watching and have a chance to bid for his services at the end of the 2014 season. Will Ingram excel or add his name to the list of running backs who were somewhat disappointing  in New Orleans. Ricky Williams, Reggie Bush and now Mark Ingram ... did any of them ever really live up to the hype as Saints?