What Todd Gurley’s release teaches us about Alvin Kamara’s future
Todd Gurley was released by the Los Angeles Rams on March 19th and later signed by the Atlanta Falcons on March 20th. What’s this mean for Alvin Kamara?
Running back Todd Gurley was made one of the highest-paid running backs in NFL history in 2018 when he signed a four-year, 57.5 million dollar deal with the Rams. Gurley, at the time, was one of the best running backs in the NFL and had been since he was drafted tenth overall in the 2015 NFL Draft. This is what Alvin Kamara may have been looking at.
Despite his arthritis in his knee causing issues, Gurley has proven his worth. It came as a surprise to many when Todd Gurley was released and it has everyone realizing that running backs simply aren’t viewed as highly as they used to be.
Gurley is a three-time Pro-Bowler, two-time first-team All-Pro, one-time Offensive Player of the Year, and two-time rushing touchdown leader.
If milestones like Gurley’s can’t secure a fortune, then a guy whose production drastically dropped last season like Alvin Kamara’s will certainly have a hard time securing any record-setting money when his contract expires following the 2020 season.
Although Alvin Kamara adds a different level of talent to the Saints offense, one that most players even come close to, I’m still not sold that the cap-strapped Saints should break the bank trying to keep Kamara around for the long run.
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The Saints should not overpay for the services of Alvin Kamara but give him financial stability instead.
The running back market is dropping quick, and guys will start taking cheaper and cheaper contracts in order to remain with their current team. The Saints should give Kamara a contract worth around $8-10 million per year with the bulk of it being guaranteed while also adding in performance bonuses mixed in as well.
This gives Kamara a substantial raise from what he’s currently receiving, and it doesn’t force the Saints to overpay for the services they could get from someone else for cheaper. Saints head coach Sean Payton loves Alvin Kamara and Kamara loves playing in New Orleans so both sides should be able to work this out civilly.
One contract to keep an eye on is Austin Ekeler’s contract he signed with the Los Angeles Chargers.
Ekeler and Kamara have had similar numbers in their careers, and Ekeler’s contract of $24.5 million over four years will likely be the starting offer for Alvin Kamara, but Kamara, a young, more-talented back, may request more.
Ekeler has 285 carries, 1,371 rushing yards, and eight rushing touchdowns to go along with 158 receptions, 1,676 receiving yards, and 14 touchdowns. Kamara has 485 carries for 2,408 yards and 27 rushing touchdowns to go along with 243 receptions for 2,068 yards and ten touchdowns.
Kamara leads in most notable stats and will get a larger deal. Kamara is expected to get a contract worth around $15.5 million per year according to Spotrac, but that will likely be out of the price range for the New Orleans Saints.