Running back Chris Ivory is expecting to receive a restricted free agent tender from the New Orleans Saints rather than a long-term contract, a source said. The question remains what tender will the Saints issue to Ivory.

The two likely choices will be for the Saints to tender Ivory with a second-round tender, which is a one-year, $2.023 million contract, or a no-compensation tender at a $1.323 million price tag. The Saints are struggling with the salary cap so the no-compensation tender would be the thrifty way.

It would open up the door for Ivory to play elsewhere in 2013, though, as it's highly likely Ivory would receive plenty of interest from other teams willing to spend more money on the bruising running back. Plus the Saints would receive nothing if Ivory left under the no-compensation tender.

Ivory tallied 217 rushing yards last season and two touchdowns while only receiving 40 carries in a crowded backfield also containing Mark Ingram, Darren Sproles and Pierre Thomas. Ivory has been hampered by numerous injuries during his three seasons in New Orleans, but he was a healthy inactive for much of the first half of the season.

March 12 is the deadline to issue an RFA tender. The Saints also have center Brian de la Puente, defensive end Junior Galette and long snapper Justin Drescher as RFAs.