With Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey at $16 million per year and Bengals running back Joe Mixon at $12 million per year, where will Saints running back Alvin Kamara land if/when he works out a new contract?
Here’s the range to watch: Five years, $70 million. That would put him smack dab in the middle, with a new-money average of $14 million per year.
Although he’s not a classic workhorse running back, Kamara’s added value come from his role as a pass-catcher. He’s had exactly 81 receptions in each of his prior three NFL seasons.
To the extent the Saints privately believe (and they do) that Kamara is every bit as good as McCaffrey, getting Kamara for $2 million less per year should be regraded as a bargain. Then the question becomes whether they use Kamara more heavily, once they make an investment in him in the range of $14 million per year — if that’s where the deal eventually lands. If they can eventually get a deal done.