According to reports, New Orleans Saints running-back Alvin Kamara is bracing for a six-week suspension stemming from battery allegations at a bar before the 2022 Pro Bowl.
Kamara, a five-time pro-bowler and former offensive rookie of the year, reportedly threw “two punches” and is now under the direct violation of the personal conduct policy the NFL and the Players Association agreed upon.
While no suspension has been given yet, and Kamara’s trial is set for August 1st, the potential loss of the Saints’ top offensive weapon for a third of the season is extremely significant not just to the Saints, but the NFC as a whole.
And it has a huge effect on the future of the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Draft Pick
The Philadelphia Eagles own the Saints’ 2023 first-round pick after the trade that gave the Saints the ability to select both Chris Olave and Trevor Penning.
While the Saints offense is more than capable of winning without Kamara now that Michael Thomas is back, last season showed the example of just how important the former Tennessee product is to the offense.
New Orleans was 9-4 last year in games that Kamara played in. They were 0-4 in games he didn’t.
Mark Ingram is a serviceable backup. But with Jameis Winston at the helm, Kamara is a massive necessity for this offense.
If the Saints were to go 0-6 during Alvin Kamara’s suspension, it would mean that they would have an extremely tight window to even finish over .500 next year. That first-round pick now owned by Philadelphia could very well be in the top 10 depending on how the other games go.
It’s extremely important for the draft and the future of the Eagles. A top-10 pick while the team is in the playoffs would be one of the biggest steals in league history.
The 2022 schedule shaped out perfectly for the Eagles. They could miss Chase Young, and DeAndre Hopkins when they play Washington and Arizona, and could play a Saints team that might be out of the playoff hunt later in the year.
The Saints have the 7th hardest schedule in football and cannot afford to have their best offensive player miss games. But let’s say Kamara doesn’t miss the start of the season.
In 2017, the NFL suspended Zeke Elliott for six games and it ultimately cost the Cowboys a playoff berth. Zeke appealed the suspension many times only to have him miss the most important games.
If an Alvin Kamara decision isn’t announced to begin the year, that’s okay. A six-game suspension later in the year means a worthy NFC Title opponent lost its best player and the Eagles may not even have to face him. Kamara’s six-game suspension could cost the Saints a playoff spot and vault the Eagles to an even higher seed in the NFC playoff picture.
Alvin Kamara’s suspension on paper
Until a decision is brought down on Alvin Kamara, all of this is speculation.
On paper, the NFL’s Personal Conduct Policy requires a six-game suspension for any assault accusation.
On paper, the Saints have one of the hardest schedules in football and will be without their best player.
On paper, the Eagles have one of the easiest schedules and face teams that won’t have their best player.
In the end, the regular season will determine just how good or bad the Eagles are. The schedule appears to be breaking for them the right way early on, but luck can always turn.
Execution and development will be the only way to determine just how good the Eagles are, and can be. But it doesn’t hurt to have as bright a future as the Eagles do, along with the strong draft capital they could have.
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