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Evaluating the Rumor: Jason Kelce to New Orleans for Mark Ingram?

Ingram Photo Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Eagles could be a perfect match for a trade with the New Orleans Saints. Earlier today, NFL.com reporter Ian Rapoport broke the news that the New Orleans Saints will start the season without their starting center, Max Unger, due to a foot injury.

The Saints run an offense that relies a lot on the passing game, and being without their starting center will certainly hurt their ability to protect their quarterback, Drew Brees. In come the Philadelphia Eagles, a team with a lot of depth along the offensive line.

The current starting center for the Eagles, Jason Kelce, is currently in the fourth year of his six year contract and is slated to have a $6.2 million cap hit in 2017 (according to spotrac.com). One of the only problems that could plague a Kelce trade to New Orleans is money, and New Orleans is currently in the negative cap space according to spotrac.com.

Kelce is one of the NFL’s top centers going into 2017, although he is coming off of a down year in which he struggled as a blocker as well as having some issues snapping the football in 2016. However, Kelce would still be a vast improvement over whoever the Saints will put in there while Unger is recovering from injury.

What would Philadelphia get out of trading Jason Kelce? The Eagles would be rid of his $6.2 million cap hit for 2017 and in addition, the team could acquire something back from New Orleans. The Eagles currently lack a dominant, go to running back going into 2017, with a running back by committee approach seemingly being taken by head coach Doug Pederson and general manager Howie Roseman. However, this trade could change things.

The Saints have a plethora of running backs on their roster after drafting Alvin Kamara in the second round of the NFL draft and signing Adrian Peterson to a contract in the days leading into the draft. That leaves out Mark Ingram, a former Heisman Trophy winner in college and a player who has produced in his time in the NFL.

Ingram, a running back from Alabama, has rushed for 4238 yards and 32 touchdowns in his six years in the NFL thus far. He has the talent and ability to tremendously help the Philadelphia Eagles offense, and at 5’10 and 215 lbs. he has the size that the Philly offense lacks.

One qualm that some people have on Ingram is that he has shown that he lacks the ability to stay healthy. Of his six seasons in the NFL, Ingram has played a full season only twice. However, he is coming off of a full, 16-game season in 2016 in which he put up some of the best numbers of his career (1043 yards and six rushing touchdowns).

Trading for Ingram would be a risky move for Philadelphia, but one that could be done without much cost. The Eagles have a plethora of depth at the offensive line, meaning that Kelce would be easily replaced by a guy like Isaac Seumalo or Stefen Wisniewski. The Saints have a plethora of talent at the running back position as well, and they have a need for a starting center to replace the injured Max Unger. This move would make a ton of sense for both sides, and with the exception of having to deal with the money issue (according to spotrac.com, both teams are currently in the negative salary cap space), both teams could afford to make this trade.

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