Cam Akers’ time with the Los Angeles Rams appears to be over.
The Rams are listening to trade offers for the young running back, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, after Akers reportedly had “philosophical and football-related differences” with head coach Sean McVay. This stems from Friday’s news where McVay announced Akers would miss the team’s Week 6 game against the Carolina Panthers while Akers and the team are “working through some different things.”
McVay failed to explain what he meant by that, but added that the team is dealing with the situation internally and that it’s “kind of uncharted territories.” Rapoport added that McVay and Akers have been “cordial” and Akers ‘frustrations are more about his place than him among the Rams’ running backs than anything else.
The NFL trade deadline is Nov. 1 at 4 pm ET.
It’s unclear exactly what went wrong with the partnership between Akers and the Rams. The 23-year-old rusher was drafted 52nd overall out of Florida State in 2020 and appeared on his way to a key role in the Rams’ future after he rushed 145 times for 625 yards and two touchdowns during his rookie year. Akers tore his Achilles tendon prior to the 2021 season, though, and he missed all but one regular season game. He did return for the Rams’ Super Bowl run but managed just 2.6 yards per carry on 67 attempts in the playoffs.
Akers returned healthy in 2022, but saw just 18 percent of the Rams’ offensive snaps in Week 1 and only 35 percent overall over the first five weeks of the season. And when Akers did play, he was ineffective and averaged just 3.0 yards per attempt. Following the Rams’ loss to the Buffalo Bills in Week 1, McVay said he wanted to see “an increased level of urgency and accountability snap in and snap out” from Akers, according to ESPN’s Sarah Barshop.
Now, this could be more of a Rams offensive issue than just an Akers issue. The Rams have been bad on offense this season thanks in part to an injured offensive line and poor play from Matthew Stafford. Los Angeles sits at just 2-3 with the 28th-ranked scoring offense at just 16.0 points per game, and has tallied just the 26th-most yards.
It sounds as if whatever differences exist between Akers and McVay are beyond repair, and the Rams want to move on from their young running back. It’s hard to gauge what Los Angeles could receive for Akers, but there are plenty of teams out there with a need for a running back.
The Rams, meanwhile, will continue to operate with their stable of rushers with Akers on the outs. Darrell Henderson will return to the starting role he had in Akers’ absence in 2021 with veteran Malcolm Brown behind him. Fifth-round rookie Kyren Williams, who broke his foot in Week 1, is still on injured reserve but could return soon.
A big hypothetical name out there is Panthers star running back Christian McCaffrey, who the Rams will face in Week 6. Carolina is reportedly listening to offers for McCaffrey, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, and CBS Sports’ Jonathan Jones reported Saturday that the Rams were among teams who’ve shown interest in acquiring McCaffrey.