Whatever job security Mark Ingram might have enjoyed in his first three seasons with the New Orleans Saints is significantly reduced.

Much like most of the five running backs on the Saints roster who entered the league as undrafted free agents, the first-round 2011 NFL draft pick is assured of nothing beyond this season.

"It's motivation," Ingram said about being in the final season of his four-year rookie contract. "I'm coming up on a contract year. I'm an unrestricted free agent after this year, so we'll see what happens."

The Saints put him in that position when they declined to pick up the fifth-year team option. All rookie contracts since 2011 are automatically four years, but teams can decide after the third season to pick up a fifth-year option.

The Saints picked up the option on defensive end Cameron Jordan, also a 2011 first-round pick like Ingram. The team will pay him $6.97 million. The fifth-year option for Ingram would have been $5.2 million for 2015.