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    Aiming For New Contract, Saints RB Alvin Kamara Holds Out of Minicamp

    Alvin Kamara did not attend Saints mandatory minicamp Thursday as he and the franchise appear to be in a dispute over a new contract.

    Alvin Kamara has long been a highly productive running back for the New Orleans Saints, but his numbers have tailed off a bit in recent seasons. With the effective end of his contract coming up, Kamara did not attend the franchise’s final day of mandatory minicamp as a potential contract dispute looms.

    Alvin Kamara Holding Out for New Contract

    Kamara was not seen by reporters on Thursday during the final day of New Orleans’ three-day mandatory minicamp. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported shortly after that Kamara’s agent, Brad Cicala, confirmed to him that the holdout is contract-related.

    Kamara is coming off a decent 2023 season in which he ran for 694 yards and five touchdowns, as well as posting 466 receiving yards and one more score.

    He put up a career-low 6.2 yards per catch along with 3.9 yards per carry, the second-lowest mark of his career. Kamara will be 29 years old by the time the 2024 season gets underway — certainly on the older side for many running backs in today’s NFL.

    State of the Running Back Market

    Plenty of running backs inked new contracts this offseason, setting a new standard for where the market currently lies.

    Christian McCaffrey signed an offseason extension with the San Francisco 49ers that, at $19 million per year, gave him the league’s highest average annual value at the position.

    Kamara’s average annual figure of $15 million per year from his past contract extension ranks second in the league. Jonathan Taylor ($14 million), Saquon Barkley ($14 million), and Josh Jacobs ($12 million) round out the top five in average annual value.

    MORE: Who Are the NFL’s Highest-Paid Running Backs in 2024?

    Taylor signed his deal in October after a lengthy back-and-forth with the Indianapolis Colts, while Barkley and Jacobs each signed with new teams this offseason.

    They have set the top of the running back market at this point.

    Kamara Contract Details

    It’s unclear, though, whether Kamara is in a position to continue commanding that level of money, given his declining production.

    The running back might be in line for a bit of a lowered salary to stick around long-term. He’s currently slated to make just over $18.5 million in 2024 — including $10 million in base salary — and has a $29 million cap hit on the books for 2025.

    Kamara will almost certainly not play on that cap number in 2025, however. A contract restructure could make sense to lower the number over a few years, but it’s unclear how long the Saints would want to commit to an aging running back.

    Either way, Kamara’s holdout seems to indicate that negotiations between himself and the Saints have not progressed to his liking at this point.

    Whether the sides come to a resolution before the season remains to be seen.

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