Alvin Kamara warned everyone that this holdout was coming.
New Orleans fans and fantasy football owners confused as to why the Saints running back is missing practice with unexcused absences — and prompting trade rumors in the process — need only look at his Twitter account to see what was on the horizon.
Kamara hinted as much in a single, cryptic tweet on Aug. 17:
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Initial reports suggest Kamara, entering the fourth and final season of his rookie contract, is holding out in a bid for a contract extension. The third-round 2017 NFL Draft pick has averaged 802 rushing yards and nine touchdowns over his first three seasons, adding 81 receptions per campaign for an average of 689 receiving yards and 3.3 touchdowns. Yet despite serving as one of New Orleans’ top offensive weapons, he is due only $2.133 million in 2020 — tied for 30th among running backs this season, per Spotrac.
Considering other top backs Christian McCaffrey and Derrick Henry received contract extensions in recent months, it makes sense that Kamara would want to see his production similarly rewarded. What’s curious about the situation is that Kamara was seemingly relaxed when it came to renegotiating his contract:
“It’ll happen when it happens,” Kamara said when New Orleans’ training camp opened in August. “It’s never been something … like I didn’t come in (to the NFL) thinking about like, ‘Ooh, I can’t wait till I get a contract.’ It’s like, ‘I’m playing, and when that comes, it’s gonna be well deserved and it’s gonna be perfect timing for it.'”
At first glance, it seems it would be in New Orleans’ best interest to keep Kamara on the roster, especially considering that this appears to be quarterback Drew Brees’ final year in the black and gold.
But if the Saints are unable to work out a deal with their star running back, well, no one can say he didn’t warn them.