Bears might give running backs Pierre Thomas, Mark Ingram a look

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The New Orleans Saints have released veteran running back Pierre Thomas, per NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport.

Thomas has spent all eight seasons of his NFL career with the Saints and proved to be a good complementary back — and often a lead back.

Thomas is on the wrong side of 30 — he’ll be 31 at next season’s end. But he’s also not going to garner much attention on the open market as a starting running back.

Thomas is somewhat versatile, which would make him an intriguing option filling in for the much-more versatile Matt Forte on occasion. He caught 50 passes in 2011 and 77 passes in 2013. As only a part-time player and occasional starter, he’s never topped 1,000 rushing yards in a season, but he has a career 4.6 yards-per-carry average.

Working in Thomas’ favor, of course, is that new general manager Ryan Pace is familiar with him from their days together in New Orleans.

Working against Thomas is that his running mate from the Saints, Mark Ingram, is also set to hit the free agent market. The Saints will attempt to lure him back, but he’s likely to see what the market has to offer. Ingram is a lot younger at 25 and would be a better complementary player to Forte because he can get the short yardage better than Thomas can.

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