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Alvin Kamara Trade Rumors: Saints Open to Dealing RB Amid Contract Issues

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistSeptember 1, 2020

New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara (41) runs a drill during NFL football training camp at the Ochsner Sports Performance Center in Metairie, La., Thursday, Aug. 20, 2020. (David Grunfeld/The Advocate via AP, Pool)
David Grunfeld/Associated Press

The New Orleans Saints are reportedly "open to trading" star running back Alvin Kamara, according to Josina Anderson

The rumor comes as Kamara reportedly sits out while seeking a new contract, as ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Monday. The fourth-year player has unexcused absences from training camp over at least three days.

After speaking with the star running back and his agent, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported Kamara hasn't asked for a trade:

Ian Rapoport @RapSheet

Spoke to #Saints RB Alvin Kamara and his agent and neither has asked for or demanded a trade. As of today, they thought they were actively negotiating and making progress on an extension. Kamara has never threatened to hold out and has been in the building every day.

Kamara is heading into the final year of his rookie contract and has just a $2.4 million cap hit for 2020, which ranks 30th in the NFL among running backs, per Spotrac.

It also comes after the Cincinnati Bengals signed running back Joe Mixon to a four-year extension Tuesday worth $48 million, per Rapoport.

Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports provided more details on the new contract negotiations:

Charles Robinson @CharlesRobinson

On the Alvin Kamara situation with the #Saints, I'm told that right now, the team is comfortable making him a top 5 paid RB ($12+ mil per season). But Kamara's number is pushing more toward the #Panthers' Christian McCaffrey extension ($16+ mil per). That's a pretty wide chasm.

Kamara has been one of the most exciting running backs in the NFL since entering the league in 2017, tallying at least 1,300 yards from scrimmage and earning a Pro Bowl selection each season. He has 81 receptions in each of his three campaigns and, although his scoring numbers were down in 2019, he still has 38 touchdowns in his career.

Trading this type of playmaker would be especially surprising for a team that has high expectations.

After going 13-3 in each of the last two seasons, the squad is one of the favorites to win the Super Bowl with 11-1 odds, per Caesars Palace.

Even with an elite receiver in Michael Thomas and a proven quarterback in Drew Brees, the offense would likely take a step back without Kamara.

Latavius Murray played well when given the opportunity last season, finishing with 637 rushing yards, 235 receiving yards and six total touchdowns. There are also veteran options on the open market, including Leonard Fournette and Devonta Freeman.

However, the Saints would have a tough time replicating Kamara's production in 2020 if they were to make a trade. 

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