The Team’s Future
As discussed prior, Kamara’s contract could decide the makeup of the Saints roster in the future due to the impact his contract might have on the ability to re-sign players like Lattimore and Ramczyk, but it goes deeper than that simple fact.
As a whole, the Saints’ team is relatively young at many positions, but there are plenty of major roster changes coming in the near future as a result of particular players retiring.
It’s no secret to anyone that one of those players is going to be Drew Brees. The discussion of this being his last year has been active for years now, but it seems that the contract he signed this offseason might truly be the last one he signs as a player.
Going through such a culture change and adapting the game plan after revolving around a certain player for over a decade can cause serious instability among a team.
In what seems like some rapid attempts to find a safety valve when that day arises, the team now has three backups at the quarterback position with Taysom Hill, Jameis Winston, and the draftee Tommy Stevens.
Once Brees retires, the quarterback carousel will become an intense competition and the team will have to reclaim a new identity. However, having a dependable running game and a back that can provide support in the passing game can make that transition much smoother.
Latavius Murray eclipsed 100 yards in the games that he got 20+ touches, but he is older than Kamara and can’t provide quite the same productivity for that usage rate.
Kamara is in a unique position where he could make the choice to hold out if he chooses to do so because he is aware of how much of the team’s future and cap space will depend on signing him to a deal or trading him away.
However, most Saints players don’t tend to hold out for very long, if at all.
No one would expect Kamara to be in the range of contracts with McCaffrey and Elliott, but it is not unreasonable to expect him to fall within the range of other players like Le’Veon Bell and David Johnson, both of whom earn roughly 13 million annually.
Kamara even stated when McCaffrey got paid that he was a “football guy” and that he wasn’t all about the money.
He knows he has to prove himself somewhat as well following the injury last season. However, considering what he’s proven on the field already and the position he holds for the team’s future, it’s not impossible to see why Kamara might bet on himself to earn a bit more.