Let's consider what happened in 2010. The Saints entered the season with a pretty clear picture of what their depth chart would look like. With Reggie Bush, Pierre Thomas, Lynell Hamilton and P.J. Hill/Chris Ivory, they felt loaded at running back. The Saints even let P.J. Hill go despite an oustanding preseason because they felt so loaded. Then disaster struck. Lynell Hamilton tore his knee ligaments and would never play a down. Pierre Thomas wrecked his ankle so badly early in the season he would only play 6 mediocre games. Reggie Bush broke his leg and only played 8 games. Chris Ivory would be thrust into the main role on a consistent basis and to his credit he performed very well in a breakout type of season. That was, until he himself suffered knee issues and hamstring problems and wasn't able to finish out the season. Over the course of that year the Saints' roster would also include Julius Jones, Ladell Betts, DeShawn Wynn and Joique Bell as backs on the roster. Injuries got so bad that by the time the playoff game against the Seahawks ended, the Saints were using fullback Heath Evans as their third down receiving back because they had no one else left.
It's important to note that Chris Ivory still brings tremendous value to the equation for the Saints. He has a unique skillset as an in between the tackles power runner, and Mark Ingram is the only player on the roster that comes close to matching what he can do. In two seasons Ivory's career rushing average is 5.0 yards per carry, which is absurdly high. That's a luxury in your 4th back too good to pass up in my opinion. If you were getting a 3rd round pick for him I could see some disagreeing, but that likely wouldn't be the case. Granted, 2010 was a perfect storm of injuries at one position and the Saints could play 20 years and not have that kind of bad luck again that required the Saints to carry 7 different running backs over the course of a season. Still, to have four on the active roster and one promising player on the practice squad is a much safer move than trading Ivory and just rolling with four guys, one being an unproven Cadet.
Consider the injury history of the guys the Saints feature as well. Mark Ingram was injured most of his rookie season and isn't 100% at the moment, Pierre Thomas had major problems in 2010 and was knocked out cold in the playoffs last year, and Chris Ivory himself has had health issues as mentioned above. Only Darren Sproles has proven to be consistently durable, though he also missed the 2005 season due to injury, and at 5'6" you can't exactly count on his frame to take a regular beating. So the old adage is true especially when you consider the brittle nature of the Saints' talented group of runners - "you can never have too many good runners". Chris Ivory needs to stay right here in New Orleans this season because the return wouldn't outweigh the risk. There's a chance he could sit the majority of the season on the bench of the three guys ahead of him stayed healthy, but odds are very slim that would be the case. At some point this season my guess is he'll get regular reps and a shot to contribute.
Your thoughts on trading him vs. keeping him?