Derick E. Hingle / USA TODAY Sports

After a dramatic couple of days which saw a contract holdout turn into a potential trade, Alvin Kamara of the New Orleans Saints has returned to practice. On Monday, it was reported that Kamara had missed multiple practices and his absence was believed to be contract related. A day later, it was reported that the Saints were open to trading the three-time Pro Bowler if they couldn’t agree to terms on an extension. It didn’t take long for cooler heads to prevail, however, as Kamara was back at practice on Wednesday and running through drills with his teammates.

After practice, head coach Sean Payton fielded several questions regarding his star back, and what he said could be seen as very encouraging to Saints fans. 

“We’re actively negotiating a contract with he and his agent,” Payton said, according to ESPN’s Field Yates. “We’ll keep you posted if there’s any progress.” 

Later, Payton added: “We’re focused on him being a part of our plan for Week 1.”

After his first two incredible seasons with the Saints, Kamara took 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. 

As far as his potential extension goes, CBS Sports’ Cody Benjamin published an excellent piece this week examining why Kamara could command at least $15 million per year on a new deal. It appears the Saints could afford to offer Kamara a lucrative extension, but an agreement is not necessarily imminent. 

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