The New Orleans Saints found a draft day steal when they selected Alvin Kamara out of the University of Tennessee in the 3rd Round of the 2017 NFL Draft. Because rookie contracts are initially correlated with draft pick selections, Alvin Kamara has a total cap hit of just over $1 million dollars in each of the final two seasons of his rookie deal.
Considering Le’Veon Bell’s 2020 cap hit for the New York Jets is set to be over $15 and a half million, to say Kamara is on a bargain contract would be an understatement. Hence why Bleacher Report selected Kamara as the Saints’ most team-friendly contract:
Two Years Remaining on a Four-Year, $3.8 Million Deal
The New Orleans Saints struck gold when they selected former Tennessee running back Alvin Kamara in the third round of the 2017 draft. Kamara has been one of the league’s most versatile running backs since, and while he’s never been a 1,000-yard rusher, he’s topped 1,500 combined rushing and receiving yards in each of his two pro seasons.
If not for the presence of future Hall of Famer Drew Brees, Kamara would likely be considered the centerpiece of the Saints offense. Wideout Michael Thomas is elite as well, but Kamara’s ability to produce both on the ground and as a pass-catcher makes him invaluable. With Mark Ingram in Baltimore, he’ll also likely take over the starting job on a full-time basis.
Kamara is employed at a value rate. He’ll earn roughly $1.12 million over the next two seasons. That’s important for New Orleans, which is trying to maximize its Super Bowl window with Brees.
Could the Saints have afforded to give Brees a new two-year, $50 million extension if they were paying Kamara the going rate for elite running backs? Probably not—at least not without making sacrifices at other positions.
It’s going to be expensive to keep Kamara around if he asks for market value money, but the Saints would be smart to pay him his money. There’s been no indication players like Kamara or Michael Thomas will enter any sort of hold outs for new contracts, but there’s also no reason to assume Kamara will take a hometown discount a la Cameron Jordan.
If Kamara insists on Top NFL Running Back-type money, you’re likely saying “Goodbye” to players like Marshon Lattimore, Marcus Williams, and Eli Apple on defense.
Still, Kamara’s worth it.