Saints' Alvin Kamara misses final minicamp practice due to contract dispute

Kamara carries a cap hit of $29 million in 2025

The New Orleans Saints held their final practice of minicamp Thursday, but running back Alvin Kamara wasn't on the field.

Kamara was at the team facility but skipped the practice session due to a contract dispute with the team, according to NewOrleans.Football's Nick Underhill. NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reportedly spoke to Kamara's agent, who confirmed that his client's contract situation was the reason for the absence.

Saints coach Dennis Allen told reporters that he didn't know why Kamara didn't attend practice, though he did take part in Thursday morning's walk-through.

The eighth-year running back is signed for two more years, but the way his contract is structured makes it extremely likely that the Saints will cut him before next season. Kamara's salary will increase to $22.4 million for 2025-26, but more importantly, he'll cost $29 million against the team's salary cap, according to Spotrac.

Thus, Kamara wants a new deal in place before the point where his salary spikes. But he and the Saints haven't made much progress on a new contract, according to Underhill.

Christian McCaffrey might have set the bar for running back contract extensions with his two-year, $38 million deal with the San Francisco 49ers. However, Kamara is coming off his least productive NFL season, having rushed for 694 yards and compiled 1,160 yards from scrimmage with six total touchdowns.

As a result, he might be looking at a contract along the lines of what Aaron Jones ($7 million per year) or Derrick Henry ($8 million annually) received in this offseason. That would be a significant pay cut compared to the $15 million in average annual salary from the five-year, $75 million contract Kamara signed with New Orleans in 2020.

Kamara, who turns 29 in July, also skipped the Saints' OTA sessions earlier in the offseason, despite new offensive coordinator Klint Kubiak installing a different system. Interestingly, Kubiak comes from the 49ers, so it's possible that he intends to use Kamara much like San Francisco utilized McCaffrey.

Earlier this week, Kamara said he has studied the new playbook while keeping in touch with Kubiak and teammates during his absence.

"I've been in contact with Klint. I've been in contact with guys," Kamara said, via the Saints' official website. "I have a playbook. I've got an iPad. It's different when you go do it, right? Looking on paper, I've never been really a paper guy. But nothing's changed from what I've been doing the last couple of years."