National Football League

Cook, Kamara Get Paid

September 12

Two NFC star running backs – New Orleans' Alvin Kamara and Minnesota's Dalvin Cook – saw their wallets get a little heavier on Saturday.

Kamara's deal ties him with Dallas' Ezekiel Elliott for second in terms of annual salary among running backs, with both trailing only Carolina's Christian McCaffrey. 

Saturday's news is a welcome sight for Saints fans, after talks between Kamara and New Orleans seemed to break down near the end of training camp, causing Kamara to miss multiple days unexcused.

Now, one of New Orleans' top weapons – along with superstar wide receiver Michael Thomas – is locked in for years to come, fresh off his third consecutive Pro Bowl selection.

Kamara has served as a dual-threat out of the backfield for New Orleans since entering the league in 2017. 

As a rookie, he rushed for 728 yards and 8 touchdowns, and added 81 receptions for 826 yards and 5 touchdowns, despite starting only three games. 

He started 13 games his sophomore season, rushing for 883 yards and 14 TDs, and catching 81 balls for 709 yards and 4 TDs. And this past season, he once again caught 81 passes, this time for 533 yards and just 1 TD, but also rushed for 797 yards and 5 TDs in 9 starts. 

The 3-time Pro Bowler's 243 receptions through three seasons are second only to McCaffrey (303) in league history.

Moments before Kamara was inked in New Orleans, Cook finalized his deal with the Vikings.

Cook's $12.6 million average value makes him the fifth highest-paid running back in the NFL.

Cook, like Kamara, had been in talks with his franchise about a restructured deal. At the beginning of training camp, he voiced his desire for a pay day, but still suited up for all the Vikings' practices. 

The new contract comes a day before the Vikings host the Green Bay Packers at home, locking in the RB until 2025.

The second rounder saw his 2017 rookie campaign end after just four games due to an ACL tear. The following season, he played in 11 games in 2018, missing 4 games due to a hamstring injury. That season, he rushed for 615 yards with an 4.6 average yards per carry.

In 2019, Cook had his breakout season, punching his first ticket to the Pro Bowl, amassing 1,135 rushing yards, 519 receiving yards and 13 total TDs – all career-highs.

He played in 14 regular season games after only seeing the field in 15 games over his first two seasons.

Cook recorded the ninth-most touches from scrimmage of any player in the NFL (38.1%) last season.


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