Alvin Kamara will be back at practice with the New Orleans Saints on Wednesday, and the two sides will continue working toward a long-term contract extension, a source told ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler.
According to the source, the two sides are not that far apart on a deal (Kamara is not seeking to match fellow running back Christian McCaffrey’s $16 million per year). Things appear to have calmed down after a rift in the negotiations.
Kamara, who is heading into the final year of his rookie deal, was absent from practices and team activities for at least four days starting Friday. Sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter that the absences were unexcused and believed to be contract-related. However, a source told Fowler that Kamara has also been receiving treatment for a minor back issue.
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.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 1, 2020
The source confirmed to Fowler that the Saints were open to the possibility of trading Kamara for a first-round draft choice in light of his absence, as NFL reporter Josina Anderson reported. According to the source, four teams inquired about Kamara on Tuesday.
However, this is not a case in which the Saints are eager to part ways with the three-time Pro Bowler. They are willing to make a long-term commitment to Kamara, despite their salary-cap limitations, because of the value he brings as both a runner and a receiver.
After a wild few hours, all is quiet on the Alvin Kamara front. I'm told cooler heads have prevailed and the #Saints and Kamara’s camp will keep working on a deal. He’s expected to be at practice tomorrow.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 2, 2020
Kamara, who was drafted in the third round out of Tennessee in 2017 before breaking out as the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year, is scheduled to make $2.133 million this season.
An extension would almost certainly fall somewhere between the $12 million per year that Joe Mixon received from the Cincinnati Bengals on Tuesday and McCaffrey’s $16 million per year. That leaves a wide range for negotiations.
The Saints had a scheduled day off Tuesday, with their next practice scheduled for Wednesday afternoon.
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