NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Saints running back Alvin Kamara agreed to a five-year extension, the club announced Saturday.
A person familiar with the contract says it is worth up to $75 million on paper, but that the final season includes a large non-guaranteed payment which effectively limits the team’s obligation to $50 million from 2021 to 2024. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because financial details have not been released.
The $50 million for four years puts the deal on par with the contract running back Derrick Henry signed with Tennessee in July.
A third-round draft choice out of Tennessee and offensive rookie of the year in 2017, Kamara is one of only two players, along with Atlanta receiver Julio Jones, to surpass 1,300 yards from scrimmage in each of the past three seasons.
Kamara was due to become a restricted free agent after this season and had sat out several training camp practices while the club acknowledged they were trying to negotiate an extension.
But he returned to practice in the middle of last week and continued to take part in Week 1 preparations for Sunday’s game against Tampa Bay.
Kamara gained 1,330 yards from scrimmage last season with five touchdowns rushing and one receiving despite missing two games with ankle and knee injuries that continued to bother him much of the season.
Kamara had 1,554 yards of total offense and 13 TDs as a rookie, when he was named NFL offensive rookie of the year, and was even more productive his second season (1,592 yards and 18 TDs).
Carolina’s Christian McCaffrey, who like Kamara is a threat as a runner or receiver, signed a four-year contract extension worth $64 million last April after gaining 2,392 yards and scoring 19 TDs from scrimmage.