Recently, I roasted Scott for his take on running backs. Now I think that roasting has gone way too far where I’m going to defend Scott. If I’m going to pay a running back, it has to be an elite one. I would not include Alvin Kamara in that discussion. Kamara is not worth a mega-contract extension.
Kamara is in the final year of his rookie contract. New Orleans plucked the 25-year-old running back in the third round, out of Tennessee. I’ll be the first to admit, I whiffed. I followed Kamara closely at Alabama. When he couldn’t make the team, I kind of just wrote him off even when he put up numbers with the Vols. That was a mistake.
Kamara has proved me wrong. I think he’s a decent running back. I don’t think he’s in the elite tier with guys like Christian McCaffrey. The efficiency numbers are there. In three NFL seasons, Kamara is averaging 5.0 yards-per-carry (YPC). I’ll take that all day.
The problem is, Kamara is not a volume runner. In three years, Kamara has never rushed for 1,000 yards. Forget about that! The Saints running back has never topped 900 rushing yards in a season. Marlon Mack rushed for 1,000 yards last year. Is Mack worthy of a big contract?
That’s why I’ve been so vocal of Ezekiel Elliott getting his money. Elliott is like a rotisserie chicken. You can set it and forget it. Put Zeke down for 300 carries and 1,400 yards. I never have to worry about him breaking down. Elliott has proven he can be a workhorse back and perform like one for 16 weeks.
I don’t get that with Kamara. The Saints always worry about Kamara’s workload. That’s why they had Mark Ingram, and now, Latavius Murray. Sure, Kamara has some pass-catching work, but I wouldn’t consider him nearly as good as Austin Ekeler in that department.
Speaking of Murray, how many touchdowns did he have last year? The answer is five in 146 carries. Guess how many touchdowns Kamara had last year? The answer is five in 171 carries. In a good Saints offense with plenty of weapons on the field, guys like Ingram and Murray have proved they can succeed too.
I’m for paying running backs. It just has to be the right ones. Alvin Kamara is not one of those backs. Sure, the Saints are a better football team with Kamara. At the same time, I think he’s replaceable and will not age well.