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The New Orleans Saints may have an issue on their hands as Pro Bowl running back Alvin Kamara has had an unexcused absence from training camp for the past three days. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, his absence is believed to be contract related. Head coach Sean Payton declined to clarify whether Kamara was dealing with an injury, but we now know this situation likely has to do with his contract.

Interestingly enough, Kamara said earlier this month that he was not worried about contract negotiations with the Saints, but that apparently now has changed.

“As far as contracts go, I’m not concerned with contract talks at all,” Kamara 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.” 

Less than two weeks after Kamara said he wasn’t worried about his future in New Orleans, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported that the Saints had “gotten the ball rolling” on a potential contract extension. 

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 Christian McCaffrey and Ezekiel Elliott), Kamara may increase his market value with another strong season in 2020.  

After his first two incredible seasons in the NFL, Kamara appeared to take a step backward in 2019. In 14 games, he rushed for 797 yards, five touchdowns and caught 81 passes for 533 yards and one more touchdown — which marked a couple of career lows for the 25-year-old. Last year was the first time Kamara had missed more than one game in a season due to injury, and while he still played in 14 games, he was clearly playing through some pain. Kamara suffered ankle and knee injuries during the 2019 campaign, and missed Week 7 and Week 8 due to the issues. In the first 12 games Kamara played in last year, he recorded just two total touchdowns. Still, he did enough to earn his third straight Pro Bowl bid. Kamara now claims he is 100 percent healthy, and ready to return to superstar form. 

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