The likelihood that the New Orleans Saints add any significant running back depth this offseason is low. But, they may need one.
Nevertheless, 2020 is a crucial year for the future of the Saint’s offense, especially in the run game. With the addition of Latavius Murray, the New Orleans Saints have found a way to maintain their smash-n-dash run game fans feared they’d lost when Mark Ingram left town.
Murray is under contract for another three years, the knowledge of which should relieve fans after a 630-yard, five-touchdown season.
The only looming trouble for New Orleans is the Alvin Kamara contract.
Past running-back mega-deals have given prize runners a ridiculous amount of leverage. Despite a wholly disappointing 2019 campaign, there’s plenty of argument to be made Kamara is worthy of a lofty, Zeke-esque contract.
Coupled with the impending contracts of Cam Jordan and Michael Thomas, Mickey Loomis is going to have to make some hard decisions, and no one would be surprised if the team opted to pay their star receiver over their inconsistent running-back.
As far as the running-back position goes, the 2020 offseason will hinge mostly upon speculation. Both adding a new back or not adding a new back is a risk; by not making any moves, the team is taking a huge gamble that Kamara won’t holdout or leave come next season.
By adding a new name to the depth chart, such as Wisconsin’s Jonathan Taylor, via the draft the Saints would be adding a level of security to compliment Latavius Murray.
However, they would also be sending Kamara a clear message that they’ll be ready to move on from him if they need to, which could be dangerous, especially depending on whether or not Kamara’s performance improves or continues to decline.
One not-so-improbable scenario that only sounds insane: the Saints trade away Kamara now for a pile of draft picks or a receiver.
After the Jimmy Graham heartbreaker, Saint’s fans know that no one is truly safe. As much as it hurts to say, the Saint’s don’t need Kamara as bad as they need Thomas or Jordan; they could opt to get something out of Kamara rather than letting him depart in a year for free.
Kamara will headline what should be a stellar backfield in 2020.