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Alvin Kamara Says He “Tore His Knee” In Week 6 And Dealt With It The Rest Of The Season
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Alvin Kamara, despite being the fourth highest-paid running back on the Saints’ roster, has been patient as he awaits a contract extension. After a quiet offseason, the Saints have begun discusses of an extension for their Pro Bowl running back, according to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler

“There is nothing imminent, but the team has made clear with their proposal that they value him,” Fowler said Thursday afternoon. “They know he played hurt last year. They believe he is elite. Something could [happen] here within the next few weeks. 

“There’s sort of a race at running back: who’s going to get paid first? Dalvin Cook in Minnesota, Joe Mixon in Cincinnati, [and] Kamara. Teams are still a little hesitant to pay running backs because of the short shelf life, but all three of those guys are considered top-10 backs. [Each player] could get something done soon, and the Saints very much want to with Kamara.” 

Kamara, who is entering the final year of his rookie contract, addressed his contract situation earlier this month. While he certainly wants a new deal, Kamara made it clear that he would rather focus on football while leaving his contract up to his representatives. 

“As far as contracts go, I’m not concerned with contract talks at all,” the three-time Pro Bowler said, via Luke Johnson of The New Orleans Advocate. “Me and my agent talked briefly about it, and I told him, ‘Don’t tell me anything about a contract until stuff is happening and there’s something I need to know.’ If I was my own agent, then I would have everything to tell you guys about a contract, but I’m not. I don’t talk (with the Saints’ front office) about contracts. I don’t talk to coaches about contracts. I’m just here to do my job. I’m healthy and back with my teammates, and we’re working toward getting ready for Tampa.” 

Kamara echoed similar comments shortly after Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey, a member of Kamara’s 2017 draft class, became the league’s highest-paid running back after signing a four-year, $64 million extension back in April. Kamara was enjoying a game of “Call of Duty” when he saw the news of McCaffrey’s big extension.

“Hey man, look, I don’t even … I just play football,” Kamara said when asked about McCaffrey’s deal. “I’m just a football guy. I don’t worry with all these contracts and all these things, all this money. Shout out to Christian, man. That’s my boy. [He’s] talented.”

Like McCaffrey, Kamara has proven to be a versatile weapon out of the backfield, amassing 4,476 all-purpose yards that include 2,068 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns on 243 receptions. Kamara has also averaged five yards per carry that include his league-best 6.1 yards per carry average in 2017. His success is a large reason why the Saints have won three consecutive NFC South Division titles and were on the doorstep of winning their second NFC title in 2018. 

Kamara’s current market value is estimated at four years and just under $60 million, according to Spotrac. While that total would make him the third highest-paid running back in the league (behind McCaffrey and the Cowboys’ Ezekiel Elliott), Kamara may increase his market value with another strong season in 2020.  

Kamara is also looking to bounce back after knee and ankle injuries limited his production last season. The Saints, along with having Latavius Murray at their disposal, signed Ty Montgomery earlier this offseason. The duo of Murray and Montgomery could help lessen Kamara’s workload while keeping him fresh for a possible deep playoff run. 

“Anytime you deal with injuries, it’s tough,” Kamara told CBS Sports HQ during the offseason. “Going into 2020, healthy, expect the same AK.” 

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