Loomis: Saints have had discussions with several teams for Ivory

METAIRIE -- Saints General Manager Mickey Loomis acknowledged Tuesday that the team has had discussions with the New York Jets and "several other teams" about a trade for running back Chris Ivory.

Ivory signed the one-year, $2.023 million tender offer he received as a restricted free agent last month from the Saints on Friday, paving the way for the club to seek a trade for the four-year veteran.

But Loomis said during a pre-draft new conference Tuesday that no deal is imminent even though the Jets are reportedly interested in Ivory, who visited the team on April 12 as a restricted free agent.

The Jets, however, declined to offer Ivory a contract at the time because they would have had to surrender a second-round draft pick as compensation if the Saints declined to match their offer.

Once Ivory signed the tender offer from the Saints, they were able to explore trade options although they will likely only get a low-round pick in return -- if a deal is made at all.

"Look, that's clearly a position of strength for us," Loomis said. "We have had discussions with -- the publicized team is the Jets -- but we've had discussions with several other teams as well.

"There's no deal imminent, but we have had some discussions about it."

Partly because of a series of injuries, Ivory, who led the Saints in rushing as an undrafted rookie in 2010, has been stuck in a crowded backfield behind Mark Ingram, Pierre Thomas and Darren Sproles.

The Saints also have Travaris Cadet, who made the roster as an undrafted free agent last summer.

Despite Ivory's salary of just more than $2 million, Loomis said the team could keep him if they don't get a value pick in return even though the Saints have salary-cap issues.

"They are four really good players, but don't be surprised if all of them end up on our roster come September," Loomis said of Ingram, Thomas, Sproles and Ivory. "And yet, we have to pay attention and our (cap) issues there."

When asked if he's reluctant to trade a player that has proven to be productive when he's healthy, Loomis said it was.

"Sometimes, you have to manage your roster and manage a roster within the salary cap that we have," he said. "That can dictate the type of moves that we make. If we have abundance at one position and a lack of depth at another, that's going to come into play as well."

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