Tagged in: running back

Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints agree to contract extension

Alvin Kamara is going to be with the New Orleans Saints for the long haul.

According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the running back has agreed to terms on a new five-year, $75 million deal. His deal includes a $15 million signing bonus. 

The 25-year-old has emerged as one of football’s most dangerous weapons, with 2,408 rushing yards, 243 receptions for 2,068 yards and 37 total touchdowns in his first three campaigns. He’s also a three-time Pro Bowler and was the 2017 Offensive Rookie of the Year.

In Kamara, Drew Brees, Michael Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders, Latavius Murray and Jared Cook, the Saints have one of the best offenses in football. Sean Payton’s group has reached the postseason in three consecutive seasons and heads into the 2020 campaign as a Super Bowl favorite.

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But Kamara’s ability to have a major impact in the running and passing games makes him so difficult for opposing defenses to defend.

That versatility also made him more valuable than a traditional between-the-tackles runner, and it’s a skill set Christian McCaffrey also cashed in on.

It’s no surprise three-down players have set the running back market in recent years, from pre-injury Todd Gurley (64 catches for 788 yards and six touchdowns in 2017) to McCaffrey.

It was only a matter of time before Kamara inked his own lucrative extension. He’s far too explosive and versatile for the Saints to risk losing.

Prior to Saturday’s deal, the Saints had less than $6 million in cap space this year and were already expected to have more than $240 million in cap costs for 2021, when the cap could drop as low as $175 million per team.

Furthermore, they are nearing the ends of contracts with fellow standouts like linebacker Demario Davis, cornerback Marshon Lattimore, offensive tackles Ryan Ramczyk and Terron Armstead and safety Marcus Williams.

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Patriots place RB Damien Harris on IR with hand injury

The Patriots are doing some roster reconstruction two days after cut-down day.

Running back Damien Harris will join Beau Allen on the Patriots’ injured reserve, the team revealed Monday. To replace Harris, running back J.J. Taylor will be signed from the team’s practice squad.

Harris has missed a week’s worth of practices due to a reported hand injury. The second-year running back was expected to play a big factor in the Patriots’ running game this campaign after playing in just two games his rookie season.

“Damien has had a really good camp,” Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said in a SiriusXM NFL Radio interview last week. “He came to camp in very good condition. He’s taken a lot of reps. He’s handled everything in the running game and passing game very well, which he did last year. I think everybody had a lot of confidence in him but they’ve all gained a lot more in him just because of his consistency and dependability.”

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With the NFL’s injured reserve rules for the 2020 season, Harris can return to practice in three weeks.

If he returns to practice, the Patriots will have 21 days to place him on the active roster.

Taylor was cut by the Patriots as part of their roster cut-down on Saturday. No team claimed Taylor and the Patriots signed him to their practice squad on Sunday.

Taylor, who signed with the Patriots as an undrafted free agent in May, reportedly had a good showing in Patriots training camp. In four years at Arizona, Taylor rushed for 3,263 yards and 18 touchdowns. He also had 62 catches for 487 yards and two touchdowns in his college career.

Taylor will join Sony Michel, James White and Rex Burkhead in the Patriots’ backfield.

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Seattle Seahawks reach deal with running back Carlos Hyde

The Seattle Seahawks and running back Carlos Hyde have reached a settlement on a one-year deal, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Friday.

Hyde, who turns 30 in September, scored six touchdowns and ran for a career-best 1,070 yards on 245 carries for the Houston Texans last campaign and played in all 16 matches for the second time in his career.

However, he and fellow back Lamar Miller both hit free agency, and the Texans went on to acquire David Johnson from the Arizona Cardinals in a blockbuster trade for wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins.

The Seahawks have been searching since early in free agency for a veteran to reinforce their backfield with starter Chris Carson and 2018 first-round pick Rashaad Penny both coming off season-ending injuries.

The Seahawks had offered Devonta Freeman a one-year deal, sources confirmed to ESPN. They moved on to Hyde, who will be an early-down complement to Carson, at least until Penny returns.

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Penny is recovering from surgery to repair a torn ACL and other damage in his knee he suffered in December.

The Seahawks believe there’s a strong possibility Penny will have to start the season on the physically unable to perform list, in which case he’d have to miss at least the first six matches. Carson (hip) is expected to be ready by Week 1.

The rest of the Seahawks’ backfield is young, another reason why Seattle had been seeking a veteran running back. Behind Carson, Hyde and Penny, the Seahawks have second-year pro Travis Homer and three rookies: fourth-round pick DeeJay Dallas and undrafted free agents Patrick Carr and Anthony Jones.

Marshawn Lynch told ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt earlier this month that his agent had been in talks with the Seahawks about a potential return to Seattle.

The Texans acquired Hyde from the Kansas City Chiefs last year in a trade on cutdown day in exchange for offensive lineman Martinas Rankin. Houston made the move a week after Miller tore his ACL in Houston’s third preseason game.

Over the past three campaigns, Hyde has played for the San Francisco 49ers, Cleveland Browns, Jacksonville Jaguars and Texans.

He has 5,079 total yards and 35 total touchdowns in six seasons.

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Free-agent RB LeSean McCoy wants to play 2 more years

LeSean McCoy isn’t ready to retire despite his decline in production the past two campaigns. In fact, he believes he has multiple seasons left in the NFL.

“I really just want to play two more years,” McCoy said Friday in an interview with SiriusXM NFL Radio. “I talked to Frank (Gore) about this. He always tells me, ‘never put a ceiling on your career. Hey, if you feel good and you do well, do another one year and vise versa. If it doesn’t go well, just let your body talk to you.’ My body feels fine.”

The 31-year-old free-agent running back, who finished his 11th NFL season in 2019, added: “My body feels good. So I will let my body speak for when I want to be done.”

McCoy, a six-time Pro Bowl selection, said he has “a couple teams that I’m looking at” as possible fits for himself.

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“I’m just waiting for the right moment. This stuff is tricky now, because there’s no visits. There’s no real activities with the teams as much as it used to be. The thing I can control is just making the right choice, going to an offense that fits. I want to go to a team that’s a winning franchise that has all the right pieces that’s waiting for me. That veteran running back to help the room out. To add a spark. The teams I’m looking at right now are those teams,” he said. “I won’t discuss who they are. I look forward to probably after the draft or right before the draft, signing on with a team.”

McCoy’s playing time with the Kansas City Chiefs diminished as last season went on and he was inactive for the AFC Championship Game and Super Bowl LIV but that didn’t diminish his satisfaction at finally being on a Super Bowl winner and he said in the interview he was happy to cross that off his “bucket list.”

McCoy said he embraces his role as a veteran mentor just like Brian Westbrook did for him when he was a rookie with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2009.

“If I could be that guy to help that young superstar to emerge into that superstar superstar, I would love to do that,” he stated.

After rushing for 465 yards last campaign, McCoy is ranked third among active players with 11,071 career rushing yards, behind only Gore and Adrian Peterson. Gore also is a free agent and his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, told NFL Network last month that his client plans to play in 2020.

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