Pro Bowler Alvin Kamara has quickly risen the ranks as one of the NFL’s top game-changing talents. Kamara’s performance over his first few seasons has put him in the position to garner a lucrative extension from the New Orleans Saints. However, things haven’t entirely paced in the direction hoped, pushing the franchise to consider a potentially drastic move.
Alvin Kamara’s contract standing with the Saints
It didn’t take long for Alvin Kamara to make a significant impact with the Saints.
The 25-year-old is a critical part of the Saints offense due to his dual-threat ability. Kamara is one of the best receiving running backs in the league, making him a lethal passing game option.
It saw him join Hershel Walker and Abner Haynes as only the third player in NFL history to notch at least 500 rushing yards and 500 receiving yards in each of his first three seasons. There have been lingering concerns regarding health, but he’s nothing short of an elite offensive factor when healthy.
Kamara’s performance, combined with his contract situation, has guided the conversation over to extension talks. However, things have taken another interesting turn that could see the star running back’s time with New Orleans end quite soon.
The Saints are open to trading Alvin Kamara
The Saints have established ongoing contract talks with Alvin Kamara over the last few days, but that hasn’t led to a new deal worked out.
The chatter has seen Kamara decide to take matters into his own hands by sitting out the last three practices. However, it hasn’t rubbed New Orleans the right way as the team is reportedly open to trading the Pro Bowler, according to Josina Anderson of ESPN.
It marks the first time that the Saints have ventured this route with their star running back. There may likely be much more to this possible direction than meets the eye. New Orleans is limited financially over the next two seasons. The team is currently projected to have $37.7 million over the salary cap in 2021 before any additional moves.
That includes Drew Brees being potentially a $22.6 million dead cap hit if he chooses to retire. There is simply no money for the team to ink Kamara to the lucrative deal that he desires. The fact that he’s holding out also puts the franchise in a tough spot.
There’s no question that the Saints highly value Kamara’s role and impact in their offense, but there isn’t any financial flexibility to get things done.
What will unfold in New Orleans?
It’s more than likely that the Saints don’t have a strong desire to trade Alvin Kamara, but rather have been backed into considering all scenarios.
Kamara’s contract situation is challenging for New Orleans to ignore, but there appears to be doubt that a new deal can be worked out before the 2020 season. That also puts the possibility of holding out games into the picture if he continues on that same path.
The decision to head this route allows the Saints to see how much other teams value Kamara. He is viewed as one of the league’s most dynamic offensive weapons but has struggled with injuries over the last couple of seasons.
It’s a risky move that the Saints are making with their star running back that could significantly impact the franchise’s future. It should be noted that just because they are open to moving Kamara doesn’t mean that they will venture that route. Ultimately, only time will tell what will unfold.