Alvin Kamara's felony count of battery was dropped on Tuesday as the Saints running back pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor instead. While the development ends his legal saga it also means the NFL will likely issue a suspension in the not-too-distant future.
Per ESPN's Katherine Terrell, the NFL said in a statement, "We have been closely monitoring all developments in the matter which remains under review."
The NFL has a long history of suspending players for conduct detrimental to the league. Just last year, Chiefs linebacker Willie Gay was suspended four games after being arrested for misdemeanor criminal damage.
It would be surprising if Kamara receives a suspension for fewer games than the four Gay received. With video of the incident leaking, as well as another one of Kamara discussing the incident afterward, the league may enforce a harsher punishment.
New Orleans should prepare for multiple games without Kamara, which hasn’t been great historically for the Saints.
He’ll mostly be missed as a pass-catcher. The Saints still have a solid running back rotation with free agent signing Jamaal Williams and TCU rookie Kendre Miller.
Those two should allow the running game to continue churning out yards but neither has a strong history as a receiver. Last season, the two backs combined for 28 receptions.
More will be expected out of Derek Carr and the passing offense. That unit will have to perform at a high level for New Orleans to take advantage of the easiest schedule in football.
Receivers Chris Olave, Rashid Shaheed and Michael Thomas, along with tight ends Juwan Johnson and Foster Moreau, give Carr plenty of options to spread the football. If ever New Orleans had an offense capable of excelling without Kamara since he joined the team in 2017, it would be this one.
During the first six weeks of the season, the Saints play teams that went a combined 41-60-1 in 2022. They should be able to survive a yet-to-be-determined Kamara suspension. Even better for New Orleans, it could find itself welcoming a fresh Kamara back to an offense running on all cylinders.