Alvin Kamara skips Saints' final minicamp practice over contract

METAIRIE, La. -- Running back Alvin Kamara was absent from the New Orleans Saints' final practice of mandatory minicamp Thursday. Kamara's agent, Brad Cicala, told NFL Network that Kamara's absence was contract-related.

Kamara was at the facility on Thursday for the Saints' walk-through but left right before the Saints opened practice to the media later that morning.

"He was here for the walk-through this morning and then we went in, and I haven't had a chance to talk to him, so I'm not sure why he wasn't out there," Saints coach Dennis Allen said.

Kamara has two years left on the five-year, $77 million deal he signed in September 2020. Kamara missed five practices at the end of August 2020 before signing the new contract that year, but he maintained that he never held out for a new deal.

Kamara is one of the last remaining contracts the Saints have not touched this year after they restructured quarterback Taysom Hill's deal earlier in the week. Kamara's 2024 cap number of $18.55 million is the highest on the team, and he has no guaranteed money remaining on his deal in 2025.

Kamara did not go to OTAs this year, which has been his routine for the past several offseasons. He returned for the first two practices of mandatory minicamp and said on Tuesday after practice that he has been doing the same things he has done in years past.

"I've got access to all [the practice film]," Kamara said Tuesday after practice "It's not like I'm just not in the building and nothing is happening. I talk to these dudes and some of my teammates. I talk to some of the coaches. I don't know, I think it's like a weird little narrative going on, I don't know."

He added: "I understand what, kind of, the word has been, doing something different and everybody being here. For me, it was just, I kind of just stuck to what I know. I don't think any of my teammates took offense to it really. Like I said ... I talk to a lot of these dudes every other day. It is what it is. It's like 'Oh there's different things pulling' and this and that. I had a family last year. It's not something that's pulling on me. ... The most stressful thing for me right now is that my left rear tire has low pressure. Everything else, I'm good. I feel great. That's that. I feel good, I'm doing what I've always done."

Allen would not confirm if Kamara's absence was related to his contract or if it would be considered as unexcused absence.

"I have no idea. I haven't talked to Alvin so, that's all I've got for you," Allen said.

If Kamara's absence is considered an unexcused departure, the team could fine him up to $16,953. Allen said that his expectation would be that Kamara will be at training camp as normal but repeated that he hasn't talked to Kamara about his absence, so he doesn't know anything for certain.

"I'm really not going to get into any of that stuff. At the end of the day, I said what happened and I haven't had an opportunity to talk to him, so I think it would be unfair to make any statements on that right now," Allen said.