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Saints' Mark Ingram: 'I don't agree with it, I fought it hard'

4 months 4 days 6 hours ago Tuesday, June 12 2018 Jun 12, 2018 June 12, 2018 7:19 PM June 12, 2018 in Sports
By: Mike Gaither

METAIRIE, La. -- For the first time since being popped for PED's, veteran running back Mark Ingram addressed the media at mandatory mini camp on Tuesday afternoon. 

"I fought it hard," Ingram said. "I don't agree with it, I'm going to serve my suspension and I'll be back."

More than 25 reporters camped out at Ingram's locker awaiting questions about the suspension. However, Ingram declined to talk about any specifics regarding the four-game suspension to start the season.

After skipping voluntary off-season conditioning and OTA's, Ingram mentioned he had been training in Delray Beach, Florida working with a trainer he's used for the past seven years. He says skipping OTA's had nothing to do with wanting a new contract extension. 

"People make their own narrative, the media makes their own narrative," Ingram said. "I'm not angry with my contact. I wasn't holding out. Yeah, I'm in the last year of my deal -- of course, I'd like an extension --  but that's not the reason I wasn't here. It is voluntary, you have the option to come, I had a workout bonus."

Ingram said the off season training consisted of speed work, some route running and pass catching while also maintaining an effort to keep his weight down. He said he was around 226 pounds at this time last year. However, this season he's around 215 pounds.

Ingram, who totaled 1,540 yards (1,124 rushing) and 12 touchdowns in 2017 is also in the final year of his contract which pays a base salary of $4 million.

Earlier this off-season head coach Sean Payton said they didn't have any specific plans on going after a veteran running back to replace Ingram.  Despite those comments, On Tuesday Former Saints backup Tim Hightower was in attendance for a three-day tryout during this week's minicamp. Also ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that both veteran running backs Jamaal Charles and Terrance West will be in New Orleans on Wednesday for visits.

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