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Saints Kamara

3 RBs Saints Should Trade For if Alvin Kamara is Suspended

  • Justin Melo
  • June 24, 2022
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According to reports, the New Orleans Saints are bracing for superstar running back Alvin Kamara to be suspended for the first six games of the 2022 regular season. The league continues to investigate Kamara’s off-field behavior in accordance with their Personal Conduct Policy. Kamara was arrested and booked for battery resulting in substantial bodily harm after an alleged incident took place at a nightclub on February 6 following the Pro Bowl in Las Vegas, Nev. 

Saints General Manager Mickey Loomis has attempted to prepare for Kamara’s potential absence. The Saints hosted both Sony Michel and David Johnson on free-agent visits, but Michel signed with the Dolphins while Johnson and the Saints were unable to reach an agreement. A Kamara suspension would light a fire under New Orleans to acquire an appropriate replacement. 

The Saints were without Kamara for four games last season due to injury. Their offense largely struggled, scoring just 18.25 points per game in four consecutive defeats. New head coach Dennis Allen won’t be in a hurry to repeat those performances.

With Kamara’s situation inching closer to an outcome that’s beginning to feel like an inevitable conclusion, we’ve identified three running backs the Saints can acquire via trade.


The Raiders regime that signed Kenyan Drake to an ill-advised two-year contract worth up to $14.5 million is no longer in place. Drake’s addition was the brainchild of Mike Mayock and Jon Gruden, who have now been replaced by Dave Ziegler and Josh McDaniels. The writing may be on the wall for Drake. 

The Raiders drafted Zamir White with a fourth-round selection. Ziegler and McDaniels also added veteran Brandon Bolden (who was with them in New England) and Ameer Abdullah in free agency. A second running back was drafted in the seventh round (Brittain Brown) and the Raiders signed Sincere McCormick in undrafted free agency. Josh Jacobs returns as the starter, so this is now an extremely crowded running back room.

Drake was almost a non-factor as a pure ball-carrier in 2021, recording just 254 rushing yards on 63 attempts while struggling with injury. Although Drake’s contract sounds rather lucrative, he’s set to carry a cap hit of just $3.850 million in 2022, making his contract manageable to acquire via trade. A dual-threat back that fits New Orleans’ mold, Drake has recorded an impressive 198 receptions in seven professional seasons. His fit in Pete Carmichael’s offense would be a seamless one.


A third-round selection in the 2020 NFL Draft, Zack Moss lost a considerable amount of carries to Devin Singletary last season. What was once viewed as a timeshare essentially became Singletary’s job in 2021. Singletary led the Bills in rushing with 870 yards. Moss, meanwhile, was inactive for certain contests and totaled just 345 rushing yards in 13 regular-season appearances. 

Moss remains on an affordable rookie contract. Bills General Manager Brandon Beane could be convinced to part ways with Moss before training camp announces its arrival.

The Bills drafted former Georgia running back James Cook with the No. 63 overall selection in the 2022 NFL Draft. Cook is expected to carve out a considerable role for himself as Buffalo’s main pass-catching back. Buffalo’s high-volume passing offense certainly doesn’t have room to utilize three running backs, and with Singletary and Cook serving as the main options, Moss could be phased out altogether. The Saints should gauge Moss’ availability.


According to ESPN’s Jake Trotter, Cleveland Browns running back D’Ernest Johnson could qualify as a prime trade candidate prior to the start of training camp. Johnson is entering the final year of his contract in 2022. The former Orlando Apollos legend is unlikely to carve out a role for himself in a Cleveland backfield that now rosters Nick Chubb, Kareem Hunt, Demetric Felton, and rookie Jerome Ford

Johnson seldom received starring opportunities last season, but he maximized the touches that came his way. In a late October primetime contest against the Denver Broncos, Johnson announced his arrival in front of a national audience by exploding for 146 rushing yards and a touchdown. He later strung together 157 total yards in a November blowout loss against the New England Patriots. And finally, Johnson ran for 123 yards and a touchdown against the Cincinnati Bengals in Cleveland’s meaningless Week 17 regular-season finale.

The Saints would prefer to acquire a running back that can catch the football coming out of the backfield. Nobody will mistake Johnson for Kamara in that department, but the Immokalee, Florida native hauled in seven-of-eight targets against the Patriots. Johnson finished the season with 19 receptions in Cleveland’s busy backfield.

Johnson’s days in Cleveland appear numbered. The Saints could likely acquire him for a conditional day-three draft selection.

Written By

Justin Melo