The New Orleans Saints and running back Alvin Kamara are reportedly making progress on a long-term contract extension.
Per ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, the sides are « not far apart, » and Kamara isn’t asking for the deal Christian McCaffrey received from the Carolina Panthers (four years, $64 million).
While he did not reveal how close the two sides may be to an agreement, Saints coach Sean Payton acknowledged on Wednesday that negotiations were ongoing.
« We’re actively negotiating a contract with he and his agent. We’ll keep you posted if there’s any progress. » Payton said, per ESPN’s Field Yates. « … We’re focused on him being a part of our plan for Week 1. »
Fowler noted the Saints « were open » to moving Kamara for a first-round draft pick after he missed practice, and four teams showed interest in acquiring the three-time Pro Bowler.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Monday that Kamara had three unexcused training camp absences believed to be related to his contract situation.
Kamara is entering the final season of his rookie deal. His $2.13 million salary in 2020 is tied for 30th among all running backs, per Over the Cap.
The Saints seem to be limited in what they can pay Kamara, as Over the Cap estimates they will be $39.2 million over the 2021 cap.
If New Orleans can make the money work, Kamara is worth investing in. The 25-year-old has had at least 1,300 yards from scrimmage and six touchdowns in each of his first three seasons. He’s one of the NFL’s most productive receiving running backs, having posted 81 receptions every year since 2017.
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