The New Orleans Saints will be looking to cut cap space, and Alvin Kamara’s struggles could make Latavius Murray a player that cannot be a cap casualty.
In the 2019 offseason, the New Orleans Saints brought in former Vikings running back Latavius Murray. Murray’s main objective was to come in and produce like Mark Ingram did. Murray immediately solidified himself as a high-volume backup running back.
Now, he could be a possible cap casualty with Alvin Kamara being one of the most high-paid running backs in the league. However, it doesn’t seem likely that the Saints will cut Murray after yet another solid season.
Murray has showcased too much potential within the Saints offense over the last few years. Without many expectations when he came to the Big Easy as the clear second-string running back, Murray has combined for over 1,200 rushing yards in the last two seasons.
This past season, he totaled 656 rushing yards, his most in the last three years. He had five games in which he rushed for over 50 yards even though Kamara also had a terrific season for the Black and Gold.
The best game of the season for Murray, the only time he eclipsed 100 rushing yards, Taysom Hill started. While it’s unlikely that Hill is the starting quarterback in 2021, he is the only one currently under contract for next season.
That’s a small aspect of Murray’s play last season that must be noted. If Hill starts, Murray may be used more often as the versatile quarterback doesn’t check the ball down to Kamara near as much as Drew Brees did.
Along those lines, Kamara had the most catches of any running back this season. He was near top of the league in receptions in general.
Kamara is an elite dual-threat running back, but he’s not a ground-and-pound type player. At 5-foot-10, 215 pounds, Kamara recorded the most rushing and receiving touchdowns last season at 21.
He even put up over 900 yards on the ground for the first time in his career, but if he’s the only running threat, the Saints’ offense would be more predictable and more reliant on an elite quarterback, which no one knows if they’ll have that going into 2021.
With a four-year, $14.4 million contract being signed in 2019, Murray really doesn’t provide much cap space if cut. To go along those lines, the veteran back would also have a $1.7 million dead cap carryover as compared to a $4.2 million cap hit.
The Saints would only save $2.5 million this upcoming season if they cut Murray. He’s worth that difference, and that’s why he should be expected to stay a Saint through what will be a telling next few months.