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NFL Free Agency 2013: What is Chris Ivory's Value?

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Why have the Saints been carrying an absurd amount of quality running backs? Maybe that question will finally be answered. Trade bait?

Chris Graythen

Ever since last August, Who Dat Nation has been confused.

Why you ask?

Since then, the New Orleans Saints have carried an absurd amount of running backs on the active roster, even in this age of two-RB systems.

Five. That's right, five running backs.

What was going through Sean Payton's and Mickey Loomis' collective head? Did they plan on trading one? Was there some new fancy idea they had to play multiple running backs on the field at once?

With the news that the New York Jets are interested in trading for Chris Ivory, maybe holding on to that extra RB might end up being beneficial to the mad scientists on Airline Drive.

But what's equal value for a running back who is often injured and has never finished a full season healthy? It's not going to be anything close to the second-round tender that was put on Ivory before the start of free agency. Why? Because of the reasons stated above, obviously, but also because of the devaluation of the running back position.

So why does any tender matter?

If it was the originial-round tender and not the second-round tender, any team could just sign him away with no compensation for New Orleans since Ivory went undrafted.

That's the only reason the words "second round" and "Chris Ivory" are even in the same breath right now.

I'd say his value is more along the lines of a fifth or sixth rounder and a conditional pick in 2014 based on performance and playing time.

If the Saints could squeeze a player out of Rob Ryan's brother's team, could competition for Luke McCown's backup spot be discussed?

The two "tradable" players at that position would be Greg McElroy, Mark Ingram's buddy, or, yes I am going to mention it here, Tim Tebow. At least in Tebow, you get someone who can protect Pro Bowl punter Thomas Morstead.

If it's not a quarterback that the Saints ask for, Damon Harrison could be a guy Rob tries to pry away from his brother. Harrison is a massive nose tackle (6'4" 340 lbs.) from Lake Charles who is entering his second year. New York has a surplus at the position, and Harrison could come back home to Louisiana and be in a rotation with Brodrick Bunkley and Akiem Hicks.

We'll see what happens, but at this point getting anything for Chris Ivory would be a positive, especially with the lack of draft picks the team holds.