On September 1, the Alvin Kamara holdout/non-holdout reached a head with a Josina Anderson tweet that the Saints “are open to trading” Alvin Kamara. This report came shortly after Joe Mixon inked a 4-year, $48 million contract. This put the Saints in a bind. Reportedly, they offered Kamara in the $12 million per year range. This creates a problem because Alvin Kamara is far better than Joe Mixon. I’d tell Bengals fans to chill out, I’m right. That is… if I ever saw one. The Saints have an upper range after Christian McCaffrey got his 4-year, $64 million contract in April. The Kamara Camp reportedly wants closer to CMC money. The Saints, obviously, want to pay Kamara closer to Joe Mixon money. Therein lies the problem.
New Orleans Dot Football writer Nick Underhill wrote that per his sources, the Saints and Kamp Kamara are just $2 million apart per year on their negotiations. If you really think about it, that probably puts the Saints at $13 million per year, and Kamara & Kompany at $15 million per year. There are a lot of reasons for the Saints to not pay Alvin Kamara (but none of them are good). The answer here is obvious: give him $14 million per year, and pay the man, you cowards.
The Salary Cap
Don’t give me any B.S. about the salary cap being an impediment to paying Kamara. The Saints are already over the salary cap. Despite this, they are comfortable paying him $12 million dollars a year. This means they already have machinations in place. They can’t cry poor because they already have plans to move money around, but they don’t want to move even more money around to make this work. It’s a bad reason to not pay Kamara.
It’s a doubly bad reason to not pay Kamara because Taysom Hill is currently on a 2-year, $21 million contract. His cap hit in 2020 is just south of $5 million, but it balloons to over $16.1 million dollars next year. That’s (1) stupid, (2) funny, and (3) stupid funny. Taysom Hill is a 30-year-old gadget player who the Saints have fever dreams about being the quarterback of the future despite being 30 and throwing exactly seven receptions and zero touchdowns in your career and getting used as a punt protector.
The Chiefs had literally one Andy Reid BBQ dinner worth of cap space and gave Patrick Mahomes a half-billion-dollar contract, Travis Kelce a raise, and Chandler Jones an extension. The salary cap is not real.
I have seen real dinguses cite Alvin Kamara’s lack of a 1,000-yard rushing season and having only two 100-yard rushing games in his career as reasons to not sign him long-term. To rebut this, I will give you a list of literally every single player with more yards from scrimmage than Alvin Kamara in the last three seasons. Buckle in, this is a long list.
- Christian McCaffrey
- End of list
Alvin Kamara is one of the most productive players in the NFL and is one of the most important players for the Saints.
The Window is Closing
Drew Brees probably has one year left with the Saints. He’ll be 42 during the playoffs this year, and already has a post-career gig with NBC Sports as a commentator. So, the Saints kind of have to be all-in on this year. They might have let Kamara go as part of a rebuild after this season since he is in the final year of his contract. After all, the Saints have a lot of pipers to pay. They’ve mortgaged their future with cap wheelings and dealings that are set to hit hard once Brees retires.
They’re probably reticent to put a big-money deal down on a running back during a rebuild. This one sort of makes sense, except when you consider the Saints moving the #11 player in total receptions over the last three years for future considerations (draft picks) in the last year of Brees’ deal. It doesn’t make sense to put all your chips on the table… except for one $5 chip you want to keep in reserve.
If you’re going to be all-in, be all-in.
Just Pay Alvin Kamara
It’s not hard, just pay the man. He’s one of the best players on the Saints and is one of the best players in the league. Sean Payton knows in his heart of hearts that he won’t be able to live with himself or sleep at night because he kept a $2 million difference as a point of pride. In short, don’t let the salary cap, the production, or the impending bill that’s coming due stop you.
I’ve linked a lot of tweets in this article. From Josina Anderson to Nick Underhill, to Ian Rapoport. I would like to leave you with one last tweet, a tweet that will be the defining joke of this era in New Orleans coming to a close if they don’t re-sign Alvin Kamara: