Skip to main content

It’s understandable that Alvin Kamara might have felt a little insecure about his future with the New Orleans Saints as a rookie in 2017. As only a third-round draft pick out of Tennessee without huge stats, he had a right to wonder if his first NFL contract would be his last.

Just to be safe, Kamara decided not to splurge for anything outlandish before establishing himself as an NFL player. Though Kamara is long past the point of having to prove himself, he’s still spending wisely instead of wildly.

Alvin Kamara got the money he deserved

New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara is consistently one of the top offensive threats in the NFL. | Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara is consistently one of the top offensive threats in the NFL. | Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The New Orleans Saints averted trouble late last summer by signing Alvin Kamara to a five-year, $75 million contract ($33,833,000 guaranteed) to replace the final year of his rookie deal.

Having watched the Kansas City Chiefs extend quarterback Patrick Mahomes and the Carolina Panthers do likewise for running back Christian McCaffrey, Kamara understandably wanted long-term security. And based upon his production in his first three NFL seasons, it was hard to argue with the man. Kamara averaged 803 rushing yards, 81 receptions, and a dozen touchdowns from 2017-19.

Striking the deal with their multi-talented running back added to the Saints’ salary-cap concerns. But Kamara rewarded their faith in him with his best year yet. Kamara rushed for 932 yards and 16 touchdowns in 2020. He also caught 83 passes for 756 yards and another five scores during what would have otherwise been the final year of his four-year, $3.85 million rookie deal.

Alvin Kamara celebrated his first contract in modest fashion

When college athletes make it to the pro ranks, they sometimes have a penchant for splurging on a fancy jewelry, high-end cars and homes that they realize three years later they can’t afford. The stories of trips to bankruptcy court down the road are too common.

It was apparent from Day 1 that there was little need to worry about the way New Orleans Saints star Alvin Kamara handles money. Upon agreeing to his rookie contract in 2017, Kamara collected a signing bonus of $972,772 as part of his $3.85 million deal. And approximately $972,760 of that bonus immediately found its way to his checking account.

“I got my signing bonus and I put that s–t in the bank and I went and got some motherf—–g wings,” Kamara told Sports Illustrated.

Old habits die hard for the New Orleans Saints star

Now that’s he’s working under that $75 million contract with the New Orleans Saints, one might expect Alvin Kamara to spend his money a little more freely than he did in 2017. And he does, but not recklessly.

“I’ve always known the value of a dollar,” Kamara said on Uninterrupted’s Kneading Dough series, explaining that he grew up in Georgia watching his mother work hard to provide for the family.

“It would be a shame if I got this and lost it. I’m going to keep doing the same thing I’ve been doing — (buying only) what I need and that’s it,” Kamara said. “I’m not about to go over the top, I’m not going to live beyond my means.”

Interestingly, Kamara has yet to spend a dime of his football money. Instead, he banks his Saints checks and relies upon the money he makes from endorsements. Even then, though, he’s careful about his affiliations. He looks for stability rather than one-time hits.

“I want it to be a real relationship to where it’s not just a one-off thing,” Kamara said, according to CNBC. “All the brands that I work with I can call directly and talk to a CEO or somebody high up and have a regular conversation with them. It’s almost like a family. We’re working together, but we care for each other.”

All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference.