I'd be very surprised if Ivory is still on the roster Week 1, especially at his current tender. I think the first way to make Ivory a happy camper is a long term contract, which he probably won't get from us,
I agree with the long term contract situation. But Ingram and Ivory cost the same at 2.02 mill. Unless you trust Cadet with taking his spot there's no point not to keep him based off the ability he's shown when healthy and not fumbling.
Just break down the #s by attempts and average from last year:
Player ATT: YPC: YDS:
Ingram, 156, 3.9, 602
Thomas, 105, 4.5, 473
Sproles, 48, 5.1, 244
C. Ivory, 40, 5.4, 217
Compare to 2011 (With Payton, even though ingram was a rookie)
Ingram: 122, 3.9, 474
Thomas: 110, 5.1, 562
Sproles: 87, 6.9, 603
C. Ivory: 79, 4.7, 374
One of these is not like the other, and its Ingram. He showed he was improving, but no one is going to dominate the carries overall, and he is the only one that has shown he can't come in at any point and gain a healthy amount of yards. He needs volume and we aren't going to give it to him.
My crystal ball isn't working so I can't see whether or not he will be happy, but if his production is at or near 2011, I would say he will be fine with that and getting 2 mill. I don't see why we wouldn't pay it. Maybe even split some more of Ingram's carries to boot(wishful thinking). Depth is so important at rb as we saw in Seattle playoff game, and Payton's game plan changes every matchup so pay the man.
Also important to note that Ivory did that in only 6 games in both 2011 and 2012. Ingram in 10 (2011) and 16 (2012). Raises Ivory's health concerns a bit, but he was also healthy and just not active for a substantial portion of last year.