It is no surprise at this point that the Rams are shopping running back Cam Akers, who has been the subject of controversy around L.A. for more than a year. What could be a surprise, though, is that the Raiders are among the teams interested in trading for him, according to a report from NFL reporter Jordan Schultz.
On Tuesday, Schultz reported in Twitter/X that, “Several teams have checked in with the #Rams about a potential Cam Akers trade – including the #Buccaneers, #Ravens, #Raiders and #Browns – among others. It’s still possible Akers gets released (salary reasons), but the team is actively shopping him and he’s more than likely played his last game there. Akers had three consecutive 100+ yard rushing games with 3 TDs to closeout last season.”
And while the Akers-Rams divorce has been building slowly over the past two years, the addition of Akers to the Raiders does not quite seem to make sense for a team that is riddled with roster holes on the offensive line and throughout the defense.
One place Las Vegas should be pretty well set is at running back, with Josh Jacobs—last year’s NFL rushing leader—on board. Akers, of all running backs, is best known in Raiders circles for a separate controversy altogether: He was the guy who fought with Maxx Crosby at training camp this summer, though they’d presumably bury that hatchet if Akers did, indeed, join the Raiders.
Akers Has Had Tempestuous Tenure With Rams
Let’s start with Akers, though, a second-round draft choice out of Florida State in 2020. Akers had a solid rookie season with the Rams before tearing his Achilles tendon in 2021 just ahead of the start of training camp. Akers made a remarkable recovery, returning from the injury in five months to play one game that season.
But last season, the Rams were not happy with Akers’ effort level, and looked to deal him away ahead of the league’s trade deadline—Akers was a healthy scratch for two weeks while L.A. sought a trading partner. When they were unable to find one, Akers returned to the team and finished the year on a hot streak, carrying for 345 yards on 63 carries in the final three games of the season.
Akers went for 29 yards on 22 carries in Week 1 for the Rams, though, and the team again began shopping him around the league. He was asked to stay away from the team for Sunday’s Week 2 matchup against San Francisco, and sent out a Tweet saying, “I’m just as confused as everybody else. I’m blessed though.”
Rams coach Sean McVay indicated this week that Akers should not have been confused, because he and his agent were informed that the Rams were again looking to trade him. McVay was disappointed and, he said, “surprised,” by Akers’ social media postings.
“I feel very good about the clarity that was provided to him on Friday and Saturday, both through he and [agent] David Mulugheta,” McVay said, per ESPN. “And that’s unfortunate, but I feel like it was very clear in regards to our dialogue.”
Raiders’ Roster Riddled With Holes
Now, given the fact that the Raiders have one star player—defensive end Chandler Jones—who is already away from the team and who has made clear his desire to be elsewhere, it would be odd for Las Vegas to welcome another malcontent to the mix. The silver-and-black probably should take a one-problem-at-a-time approach here.
And adding Akers at this point feels especially odd given that the team has struggled so much to get Josh Jacobs going two weeks into the season. Jacobs posted 19 carries and 48 yards in the first week of the season, for an average rush of 2.5 yards, and struggled badly against Buffalo’s defensive front in Week 2, netting minus-2.0 yards rushing on nine carries.
Akers can be had on the cheap, no question. He’s a low-risk, high-reward gamble But the Raiders seem to have so many more important problems to solve before adding another running back.
Sean Deveney is a veteran sports reporter covering the NBA and NFL for Heavy.com. He has written for Heavy since 2019 and has more than two decades of experience covering the NBA, including 17 years as the lead NBA reporter for the Sporting News. Deveney is the author of 7 nonfiction books, including “Fun City,” “Before Wrigley became Wrigley,” and “Facing Michael Jordan.” More about Sean Deveney
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