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Saints tender Chris Ivory at second-round level

Houston Texans v New Orleans Saints

NEW ORLEANS, LA - AUGUST 25: Chris Ivory #29 of the New Orleans Saints jumps over Johnathan Joseph #24 of the Houston Texans at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on August 25, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

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The Saints have one of the NFL’s deepest backfields, and they have moved to keep their strong depth intact.

According to Larry Holder of the New Orleans Times-Picayune, the Saints have tendered restricted free-agent running back Chris Ivory at the second-round level.

Ivory, who doesn’t turn 25 until March 22, was an undrafted free agent, so the Saints had to give him one of the higher RFA tenders to get any draft-pick compensation if he were to depart New Orleans. By giving Ivory a one-year contract offer, the Saints retain their right to match an offer sheet to him.

Ivory (6-0, 222) has flashed potential in his first three NFL seasons, gaining 5.1 yards per carry. His age and relative lack of work (256 regular-season carries) are assets in a game tough on its running backs. That said, he has battled various injuries in his pro career.