The New Orleans Saints have Super Bowl aspirations. But with Dennis Allen now taking over for longtime head coach Sean Payton, many believe it could be a rebuilding year in ‘Nawlins.
But that’s not the case as the Saints re-signed 2015 No. 1 overall pick Jameis Winston to lead the offense. They also get former All-Pro wide receiver Michael Thomas back after a season missed due to an injured ankle. They signed some quality free agents in safety Tyrann “Honey Badger” Mathieu, and wide receiver Jarvis Landry.
In April’s draft they took Ohio State wide receiver Chris Olave in the first round. All those pieces, along with edge rusher Cameron Jordan, linebacker DeMario Davis and cornerback Marshon Lattimore give the Saints some real star power on both sides of the football.
But none of those names mean more to the Saints than running back Alvin Kamara. The dynamic dual-threat scatback has been the team’s best and most consistent weapon since they drafted him in third round of the 2017 NFL draft.
This offseason, Kamara ran into some legal trouble. In February, while in Las Vegas for the Pro Bowl, “AK41” was captured on video surveillance punching a man repeatedly, causing substantial bodily harm. Kamara was arrested and held at the Clark County Detention Center. He was released on bond the next day, but the legal issues still fester.
With the NFL season on the horizon, the question that lingers is will Kamara be suspended? ESPN’s Adam Schefter gave some insight into what is likely to happen with Kamara during an appearance on ESPN’s “Fantasy Field Pass” with Field Yates.
“I think the league is going to be looking into this, but it is going to be a while, it seems, before this legal case is settled. There’s a real chance that the status of that case is not going to affect his availability this season. … But in terms of this season, it looks more and more unlikely that that it’s going to be this season as attorneys keep pushing out the case, it keeps getting pushed back. And by the time there is resolution to it, the season may be well underway, and Alvin Kamara may be on the field for the majority if not all of this season.”
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) August 15, 2022
Which for the Saints is the best-case scenario, as you don’t replace all that Kamara brings to the running and passing game. He’s a matchup nightmare for linebackers, even safeties and corners struggle covering him out of the backfield. He’s a security blanket for the quarterback, and with the talented but at times erratic Winston under center, Kamara will be a pressure valve release.
NFL Is More Concerned With Sticking It To Deshaun Watson Before Dealing With Kamara
While Kamara’s case is still one that must be dealt with, it doesn’t take precedence over Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson’s sexual assault and sexual misconduct situation. Watson was issued a six-game suspension by arbitrator Judge Sue L. Robinson, but the NFL and commissioner Roger Goodell appealed the decision and are reportedly looking for a year-long suspension for Watson.
Alvin Kamara was arrested in Las Vegas shortly after Sunday's Pro Bowl on a battery charge, according to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.
Police say the alleged battery took place on Saturday, and Kamara was taken into custody Sunday evening without incident. pic.twitter.com/nJxKTLGllH
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) February 7, 2022
Kamara’s situation isn’t going away, but in the eyes of the NFL it seems that it doesn’t take precedence over Watson’s. Kamara’s suspension, based on the accusations, should be six games. The belief is a suspension won’t be handed down in a late September meeting, meaning Kamara more than likely won’t be suspended during the 2022 NFL season.
Saints Need Kamara To Have Any Shot At Fulfilling Super Bowl Dreams
The Saints boast a strong and stout defense that nearly led them to the playoffs last season. Getting a healthy Winston back is key. Before his season-ending knee injury the strong-armed former No. 1 pick was 5-2 as a starter with 14 touchdowns and just three interceptions.
But the Saints go as Kamara goes, and the dynamic back has rushed for over 4,200 yards in his first five seasons. In that same time frame he’s also accumulated over 3,200 yards receiving, good for a combined average of 1,475 yards per season.
Before Alvin Kamara today, the last time a player had 6 Rush TD in a game was Ernie Nevers in 1929
According to the NFL Record and Fact Book, that was tied for the longest standing individual record in the NFL
It was tied with Nevers scoring 40 points in that game (6 TD, 4 PAT) pic.twitter.com/uz4YFziLaK
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) December 26, 2020
He’s touched paydirt 67 times (47 on the ground and 20 through the air). He’s the Saints’ best player and without him they’re nowhere near the same team.