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Clint Ingram: Boom or Bust?

The Saints newest addition, linebacker Clint Ingram, is the hot topic right now in Who Dat Nation. Whether he likes it or not, the spotlight will shine bright on him this summer during training camp. Fans are anxious to finally see an improvement at outside linebacker this season and Ingram, who has multiple years of NFL starting experience, has to be considered the best option toward achieving that goal (I'm not discussing Arnoux until I see him play). Hope and expectation are running high.

But as with all free agent acquisitions, the results from a player production standpoint can be either good or bad making the overall move either a success or a failure. Whether it's a result of bad coaching, a worrisome injury or known character issues, there is a reason players hit the market. Each free agent signing is a roll of the dice with the built-in belief that things will certainly be better with their new team. Players like Jonathan Vilma, Darren Sharper and Anthony Hargrove are all great examples of astute front office maneuvers made recently that have turned out well for the team on the field. Former Saints tight end Eric Johnson might be an example of the process gone bad.

You'll remember earlier this week that I was somewhat hesitant about the addition of Clint Ingram before the signing was even announced. After hearing Ingram's own words in a Times-Pic article from last night, however, my confidence is raised. It appears Ingram may have been the victim of a nagging ankle injury and a defense in disarray, meaning all he needs to succeed is precious time and an aggressive, championship-winning defensive coordinator.

"Coming in the way I had ended up the year before and the way I had went through offseason and trained and got myself ready, (the season was disappointing)," said Ingram, who had 52 tackles and one sack in 13 games before being sidelined by a shoulder injury. "I had a minor (ankle) injury in camp, then it didn't seem like I could ever really get going the way I wanted to. Whether it was me pressing or for some reason I was uptight, trying to make plays. I was just trying to do more than just doing my job. I really just can't put my finger at what the problem was.

"I had some on and off games. I wasn't as consistent as I thought I should have been. And our whole season, we just didn't have too many guys who really played that good. We went back and forth as far as a 3-4 (alignment) and 4-3. We were kind of looking for our identity the whole year."

This is where I open it up for discussion. What do you guys think? Next off-season, will we be talking about the importance of the Saints offering Ingram a well-deserved, multi-year contract or who the team will be able to find and replace him? Explain your answer. Partial credit will be awarded.