Alvin Kamara not worried about contract, but should Saints fans be concerned?

The New Orleans Saints’ running back said he’s focused on staying healthy. 

Alvin Kamara has been a critical component of the Saints’ offense since he joined the team in 2017. He’s preparing to enter the fourth and final season on his current contract with New Orleans, and his focus is on being the best player possible for his team.

“I’m just here to do my job,” Kamara said. “I’m healthy and back with my teammates, and we’re working towards getting ready for Tampa (Week 1).”

What Kamara isn’t worried about is contract negotiations.

“As far as contracts go, I’m not concerned with contract talks at all,” Kamara said. “Me and my agent talked briefly about it, and I told him, ‘Don’t tell me anything about a contract until stuff is happening and there’s something I need to know.’ If I was my own agent, then I would have everything to tell you guys about a contract, but I’m not. I don’t talk [with the front office] about contracts, I don’t talk to coaches about contracts.”

After RB Christian McCaffery got signed to a massive deal earlier this year, many thought Kamara would be not far behind. But the Saints will have lots of key talent coming off rookie contracts in 2021. Will the Saints have to move on because they don’t have enough money?

There’s still a lot of time to figure out that answer.

New Orleans Saints: Should Kamara a Christian McCaffery-level deal?

There is a second major question when looking at Kamara’s contract negotiations. Is Kamara worth a Christian McCaffery-level contract or does he fall somewhere underneath that bar?

McCaffrey and Kamara were part of the same NFL Draft, but their paths in the league have been different. Kamara split some of his time with running-back Mark Ingram in 2017 and 2018, while McCaffrey has appeared in every single game for the Carolina Panthers since he was drafted and has started every game the last two seasons. McCaffrey has produced over 1,000 yards rushing his last two years, while Kamara peaked just below 900 in 2018. And McCaffrey is coming off a strong season, while Kamara is coming off a season held back by injuries.

Still, when Kamara is good, he is good. He can bring speed and power when he carries the ball, and he can beat everyone when going for a catch. He is a nearly impossible player for teams to defend against.

But it’s not even clear if Kamara is demanding a McCaffrey-level deal. And even if his agent can’t work out a long-term contract, New Orleans could use the franchise tag or the transition tag on Kamara for the 2021 season if a deal isn’t reached.

Kamara’s contract negotiations are definitely something to keep an eye on. But it isn’t time for Saints’ fans to panic.

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