49ers' Super Bowl run gets easier if Saints trade Kamara originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
The New Orleans Saints clearly aren't happy with their star running back. Alvin Kamara hasn't practiced in several days as he seeks a new contract, and the Saints could be ready to move on without him.
ESPN's Josina Anderson reported Tuesday a source told her the Saints are open to trading Kamara.
NFL Media's Ian Rapoport spoke with Kamara's agent, who told him his client has never threatened to hold out and has been in the Saints' building every day. The agent was under the assumption he and the Saints were actively negotiating Kamara's contract.
One thing is certain: If New Orleans does decide to deal Kamara, that will be a big boost to the 49ers' chances at another Super Bowl run. ESPN's Football Power Index ranked San Francisco -- with a projected 10.2 wins -- as the third-best team in the NFL and best in the NFC going into the 2020 season back in May. But it did project one NFC team as having better Super Bowl odds than the 49ers.
That honor belonged to the Saints. They were given a 13 percent chance to make the Super Bowl, just slightly higher than the 49ers' 12 percent odds. Those odds would change dramatically if the Saints lost Kamara.
The 25-year-old is right there with Christian McCaffrey as the top dual-threat running back in the NFL. Through his first three seasons, Kamara has 2,408 rushing yards, 2,068 receiving yards and 37 total touchdowns in the regular season. He can beat you as a ball-carrier or receiver as the perfect running back for quarterback Drew Brees.
This past season, the 49ers kept Kamara in check. He only gained 25 rushing yards and 18 receiving yards in San Francisco's last-second 48-46 win in Week 14. That doesn't mean he isn't a game-changer, though. Behind Kamara, the Saints have Latavius Murray and Ty Montgomery in their backfield. Neither is the home-run threat that Kamara is. At any moment, he can take it to the house. The same can't exactly be said for Murray or Montgomery.
It would be a major surprise if the Saints did trade Kamara, who becomes an unrestricted free agent after this season. They have gone all-in with Brees this offseason, as shown by signing veteran receiver and former 49er, Emmanuel Sanders.
If the Saints do decide to shock the NFL, however, the 49ers won't be mad.