Alvin Kamara and the Saints are talking about a new deal.
The New Orleans Saints struck gold by selecting Alvin Kamara in the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft. He already has 4,476 yards from scrimmage and 37 touchdowns through his first three seasons.
Drafting Kamara in the third round also meant he was on a limited deal that will see him earn just $2.1 million in 2020. This is the final year of his contract and both sides can end any drama by coming together on an extension.
That process is reportedly underway, according to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler.
Alvin Kamara deserves to get paid
Fowler mentions how teams are wary of handing out big contracts to running backs. However, that narrative got flipped this season once Christian McCaffrey received a new deal worth $16 million annually.
The Carolina Panthers running back was able to get that money due to his abilities in both the running and passing game. Kamara is a similar player and has averaged just over 100 targets per season as a receiver, compared to his 162 rushing attempts per season.
The Saints don’t have a ton of leverage, and not giving Kamara a proper offer could derail the offense in Drew Brees’ final seasons. Latavius Murray is the current backup at running back and he is already 30 years old. He may not be able to carry the position as the lead back and certainly isn’t as dynamic as the younger Kamara.
The Saints have roughly $5 million in cap space and can offer Kamara an extension that puts his big money in the final years of the deal. The team is already in financial trouble for 2021 and backloading a deal allows for fewer drastic moves to be made next season.
Kamara and Brees leaving could signal a rebuild for the Saints. While Brees will retire soon due to his age, there is no reason to force a young star like Kamara out when he has already played for far less than his true value for three seasons.