Report: Alvin Kamara Absent from Saints Practice; Believed to Be Due to Contract

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistAugust 31, 2020

A reflection of the training facility is seen in the visor of New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara (41) as he runs through drills during practice at their NFL football training facility in Metairie, La., Saturday, Aug. 22, 2020. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, pool)
Gerald Herbert/Associated Press

New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara has reportedly missed the last three days of training camp with an unexcused absence, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

The absence is believed to be contract related with the 25-year-old heading into the final year of his rookie deal.

Head coach Sean Payton wouldn't confirm if Kamara was out with an injury.

"I really don't want to get into that at this time," he said Monday, per Rod Walker of the Times-Picayune.

According to Nick Underhill of NewOrleans.Football, talks between the two sides have gotten "closer" on a new deal.

The 2017 third-round pick has been one of the best values in football during his career, making slightly less than $2.9 million across his first three seasons combined, per Spotrac. His $2.4 million cap hit for 2020 ranks 30th among NFL running backs.

Kamara has received a Pro Bowl nod in each of his three seasons and won the Offensive Rookie of the Year award in 2017. He has tallied more than 1,300 yards from scrimmage each year and ranks second in the NFL in all-purpose yards during this stretch, trailing only Christian McCaffrey. 

McCaffrey signed a four-year, $64 million extension this offseason.

Whether his missed practices are due to a holdout or another reason, an extended absence would be devastating for a Saints team with high expectations in 2020.

Not only did Kamara lead New Orleans in rushing last year, but he also ranked second on the team with 81 receptions. He is a key part of an offense that ranked third in the NFL in points scored despite playing without Drew Brees for a significant stretch.

Latavius Murray would likely fill in for Kamara if needed, as he did adequately last season, while Ty Montgomery could also see extra snaps in the backfield.