There’s no such thing as a slow offseason in the NFL, and even in the lull between mini-camps and official training camp opening up the presses have stayed hot.
The latest news is that Alvin Kamara bracing for up to a six-game suspension for his role in an altercation outside of a club the night before the Pro Bowl, definitely hurting New Orleans’ future NFL Vegas odds.
There’s a chance Kamara’s suspension could be even longer than six games, which isn’t great news for the Saints coming off a 9-8 season and a missed playoff berth. New Orleans is also transitioning into the post-Sean Payton era, as the longtime coach decided to step down in the offseason.
The police report doesn’t shine a great light on Kamara, who was arrested on the day of the Pro Bowl for battery resulting in substantial bodily harm. The victim stated to police that he was waiting for an elevator but Kamara refused the man entrance by holding him out by his chest. A pushing battle ensued and it soon escalated to punching and kicking.
Kamara and a group that included Chiefs CB Chris Lammons continued to assault the victim, with reports stating that Kamara punched the man eight times – including three when he was already on the ground. The victim suffered a broken orbital bone and the confrontation was confirmed by video surveillance.
The NFL’s personal conduct policy declares a six-game suspension minimum for felony battery. Some fans are miffed that Kamara could possibly get a longer penalty than Deshaun Watson who has 24 assault case civil suits pending against him.
Where do the Saints Go From Here?
Things were going to be tough this year for the Saints anyways as they move on from Payton, who had coached the team for the last 15 years. Former defensive coordinator Dennis Allen is the new head coach but he was 8-28 at the helm of Oakland from 2012-2014.
Kamara had a productive 2021 campaign, rushing for 898 yards and amassing another 439 through the air with 9 total TDs. Kamara has scored a total of 67 TDs in his five-year career so that’s a big gap to fill for Allen and the Saints staff.
Mark Ingram was reacquired by the Saints last season but had just 260 yards rushing in 14 games. Taysom Hill will get some carries in the backfield during Kamara’s absence, but expect the team to sign somebody once a suspension becomes official. Leonard Fournette could return to the Bayou where he played college football at LSU, but former Texans RB David Johnson didn’t get a contract after his recent visit with the team.
The real winners in the Kamara absence could be the Saints’ passing game. New Orleans has put together a pretty impressive trio of receivers with a hopefully healthy Michael Thomas, the signing of Jarvis Landry, and the drafting of Chris Olave out of Ohio State in the first round. Could this mean QB Jameis Winston is one of the biggest fantasy sleepers in 2022?
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