The Los Angeles Rams are expected to field trade offers for running back Cam Akers. Who makes the most sense for the third-year ball carrier out of Florida State?
Cam Akers tore his Achilles at Rams training camp before the 2021 NFL season. Akers missed the entire regular season leading up to the final week.
Miraculously, the former Florida State Seminole returned to the team for their week 18 matchup against the San Francisco 49ers. Akers only carried the ball a handful of times, using the final regular season game to prepare for the team’s playoff run.
The high-energy running back noticeably lacked the acceleration he boasted pre-injury. In four playoff games, Akers averaged under four yards-per-carry. He did not find the end zone in any contest.
The Rams went on to win the Super Bowl anyway, and Sean McVay hoped another offseason of rehab could get Akers back to the running back he used to be. Unfortunately, this was not the case.
Through five games in 2022, Akers is under three yards-per-carry on 51 rushes. The Rams running back only caught two passes in that span. While Akers has spurts that remind you of the player he once was, most of his reps this season look unrecognizable.
It is important to remember that Achilles injuries can take up to two years to heal. However, only a few outliers see a full recovery from a torn Achilles.
It will be an even taller task to get his game back due to the position Cam Akers plays. Running backs in the NFL need a quick burst, the ability to change direction on a dime, and the lower body strength to churn out yards between the tackles.
Los Angeles Rams’ Running Back, Cam Akers, Placed on Trade Block
Following the Rams’ week five loss to the Dallas Cowboys, rumors began surfacing that Akers and the organization were not seeing eye-to-eye. The full details remain a mystery, but Ian Rapoport reported Sunday morning that the Rams are expected to shop their star running back.
The tape that Cam Akers has put out this year is unlikely to fetch much in return. The Rams would have to find a team that is willing to bet on Akers returning to his 2020 form.
The strongest selling point for a trade is that Akers’ rookie contract is affordable for any team. He is only signed through 2023, so the risk is nonexistent for whichever franchise makes the move.
A few teams make sense if general manager Les Snead is actively shopping the Rams running back. Here is a rundown of the places that make sense for Cam Akers.
The Broncos lost their budding superstar at running back, Javonte Williams, to a knee injury a couple of weeks ago. Since then, the backfield has been led by veterans Melvin Gordon and Mike Boone. Latavius Murray will join the team soon, but his best days are behind him.
Forgive me if I am not inspired by this trio of ballcarriers. Denver doesn’t have much high-end draft capital at their disposal, but a trade for Cam Akers should not be more than a mid day 3 pick at best.
Akers would not be tasked with carrying the ball 25 times a game. He needs to serve as a player that can break off some big plays while the veterans chip away at the ugly runs.
Akers will have to prove that he can continue getting healthier. With the Broncos’ offense sputtering, he is worth the late-round flier. Akers was a second-round pick in 2020; if you can get him for a late pick, do it.
The Dolphins entered the 2022 season with Chase Edmonds sitting atop the depth chart. That has changed over the past two weeks.
Raheem Mostert, former Niners’ running back, followed Mike McDaniel to South Beach this offseason. Mostert’s decision to join McDaniel is paying off, as the speedster has taken over as the No. 1 running back on the roster.
In games against the Cincinnati Bengals and New York Jets, Mostert combined for 182 rushing yards and a touchdown. With the Dolphins using a variation of the Kyle Shanahan offense, Mostert is right at home.
The only thing that has kept Mostert from being a superstar in this league is injuries. In eight seasons in the NFL, the former Purdue Boilermaker appeared in more than 11 games only once.
Keeping this all in mind, it makes sense for the Dolphins to look for more help in the backfield. Cam Akers would serve as an ideal addition to the group.
With Miami, Akers-Mostert-Edmonds would form a stout trio. The first two could help keep each other healthy, and Edmonds’ efficiency would surely go up if he becomes a true change-of-pace back.
A trade within the division is highly unlikely, but the Rams do not have much leverage. If the Seattle Seahawks want to bolster their running back room in the wake of Rashaad Penny’s season-ending injury, Akers could be the guy.
Rookie Kenneth Walker III is positioned as the RB1 for the remainder of the 2022 season, but the depth behind him is not good at all. As good as Walker is, it is not the best idea to send him out there on 90%+ of the snaps.
Cam Akers will not command a full workload but can spell Walker a dozen times a game by serving as the Kareem Hunt of the offense. The offensive line is better in 2022, and with Geno cookin’, this offense would take another step up.
If Les Snead fails to find a trade partner elsewhere, look for John Schneider to swoop in and acquire Akers for pennies on the dollar. The NFL trade deadline falls on Nov. 1.
Devin Singletary does well with his touches, but there is a reason he fails to see more of them. Some running backs aren’t built for a full workload over 17 games.
To be fair to Singletary, Josh Allen hawks a lot of the rushing attempts anyway, so it is not all his fault. Adding Cam Akers to the fold could finally get the run game firing on all cylinders.
Rookie running back James Cook is an enticing prospect for the future, but he is not quite ready yet to serve a key role on a title contender. Although Akers’ numbers were not great, he was the focal point of a rushing attack that won the Super Bowl.
This type of experience is invaluable. Akers would bring a championship-winning pedigree to Buffalo, similar to what his former teammate Von Miller did this offseason.
Cam Akers will not become an MVP candidate, but he can steer the ship for the backfield when the team is in the thick of its postseason run. Devin Singletary, Cam Akers, Zack Moss, and James Cook offer considerable upside for the Bills.