Sean Payton Says Alvin Kamara, Saints 'Actively Negotiating' New Contract

Blake SchusterAnalyst IISeptember 2, 2020

FILE - In this Nov. 12, 2017, file photo, New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara (41) rushes past Buffalo Bills' Shareece Wright (20) during the first half of an NFL football game in Orchard Park, N.Y. Opposing defenses are still having trouble containing Kamara, who leads all rookies in touchdowns. Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera says the offense designed by Saints coach Sean Payton is too dynamic to focus on stopping Kamara, which is a factor in the rookie’s success. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes, File)
Jeffrey T. Barnes/Associated Press

Despite trade and contract holdout rumors, the New Orleans Saints are planning on running back Alvin Kamara taking the field for Week 1—along with many weeks to come.

Saints coach Sean Payton addressed Kamara's status Wednesday, telling reporters the franchise is in negotiations with the tailback. 

"We're actively negotiating a contract with he and his agent," Payton said. "We'll keep you posted if there's any progress."

Payton confirmed Kamara is part of the Week 1 game plan against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

It's been a chaotic few days for Kamara. The 25-year-old reportedly had missed multiple practices for unexcused reasons originally reported by ESPN's Adam Schefter as contract related. Ian Rapoport of NFL Network later noted the absence was due to an epidural Kamara received in his back. 

In between, rumors began swirling that the Saints were listening to offers for the Pro Bowl running back. NFL insider Josina Anderson reports a trade could still be an option if the team is offered "top-round draft compensation." 

The team has also fined Kamara $200,000 for missing "team obligations" over the last four days, according to Anderson.

New Orleans and Kamara have been locked in a contract negotiation throughout the process.  

Kamara is one of the most productive pieces in the Saints offense and a major reason the club has made three straight trips to the playoffs. The NFC South becoming one of the toughest divisions in the NFL should make his place in New Orleans more valuable this season, but Kamara hasn't received the type of financial commitment some of the running backs in his 2017 draft class have already been given.

Carolina Panthers tailback Christian McCaffrey signed a four-year, $64 million deal in April while Cincinnati Bengals star Joe Mixon inked a four-year, $48 million contract on Tuesday. 

Kamara should find himself with a salary in between his peers.

Payton seems to believe that will happen soon enough.  



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