The Saints probably wish they had traded Alvin Kamara

New Orleans Saints, Alvin Kamara
New Orleans Saints, Alvin Kamara / Michael Owens/GettyImages

Are Alvin Kamara's days of being a New Orleans Saint over? After the 2022 season, his future certainly seems up in the air.

Hindsight is always 20/20, and prior to this season, Alvin Kamara was regarded as one of the franchise's most important foundational pieces. He had a career-low 439 receiving yards and posted his worst rushing efficiency rate at 3.7 yards per carry, though that was during an injury-plagued campaign with a huge amount of instability at the quarterback position.

Many believed he would bounce back in 2022, yet the same issues that crippled his 2021 season came back this year, and Kamara has arguably fallen into a larger and more concerning rut. In 11 games played, Kamara has fumbled a career-high four times this year and hasn't been rushing with the usual amount of confidence as a result.

He's averaging just 3.8 yards per carry, and his overall drop in production could be attributed to multiple factors including his quizzical usage, injuries, a weaker offensive line, and general coaching issues.

Saints RB Alvin Kamara has fallen off the pedestal in 2022

Back in October, the Buffalo Bills reportedly reached out to the Saints to discuss a potential trade for Kaamara, and NOLA rebuffed them.

Following those trade rumors, Kamara put together a magnificent three-touchdown performance against the Las Vegas Raiders; ever since then, however, Kamara has struggled to make a consistent impact in the offense.

In the last five weeks, he has recorded single-digit carries in three games and hasn't rushed for more than 42 yards in any game.

In the receiving game, Kamara has been targeted three times or fewer in three of the last five games, which is unacceptable given that Kamara ranks as one of the most talented dual-threat backs in the league.

If the Saints opt for a rebuild next year, Kamara poses as a very plausible trade piece -- Kamara is only getting older and hasn't been able to stay healthy for the past two seasons. In the post-Brees era, Kamara has seen his receiving yards dramatically decline, recording 439 yards and 433 yards in 2021 and 2022, a 300-yard drop-off from his 756 yards in 2020.

On one hand, the Saints may have wished they sold high on Kamara back in mid-October as they likely won't get as much for him this upcoming offseason, especially with a possible suspension looming for him.

On the other, Kamara's decline in 2022 isn't completely his fault. Dennis Allen hasn't been able to unlock Kamara's potential in the same way Sean Payton did for the first three years of Kamara's career, albeit Payton had Drew Brees to work with instead of Andy Dalton.

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Given the plethora of variables of play, it may be too early to call Kamara a "washed-up" back in 2022, and it's difficult to fault the Saints for wanting to hold onto him earlier in the season.