There were question marks already regarding whether the New Orleans Saints should extend Alvin Kamara considering how much it is expected to cost them. And the record-breaking 4-year, $64 million deal that the Carolina Panthers gave Christian McCaffrey did nothing but magnify the Saints’ doubts.
Now don’t get us wrong, Kamara has been absolutely brilliant since being picked up by the Saints in the third-round of the 2017 NFL Draft. Over the past three regular seasons, he has the fifth-highest overall grade (90.5), third highest receiving grade (91.6) and 12th best rushing grade (84.8) out of all the running backs in the league from Pro Football Focus. Those are elite numbers.
Although Kamara was nowhere near as productive as McCaffrey last season, he is expected to ask for a contract in a similiar price bracket. And that is where the problem arises – can New Orleans afford Kamara?
The franchise has done very well with their cap space and managed to make a number of solid moves in the offseason. But they face a huge challenge going forward with the contracts of the likes of Ryan Ramczyk, Demario Davis and Marshon Lattimore in the near future as well. Thus, they have to make a decision soon regarding who they consider more valuable to the team.
Many NFL teams have found out the hard way that giving huge extensions to running backs can backfire in spectacular. Just take Todd Gurley’s four-year, $60 million contract with the Los Angeles Rams for example.
Kamara struggled with injuries last season and that saw his production go down drastically. As a result, the Saints will be taking a huge gamble if they end up giving him a huge extension right now.