Vikings Viewed as Trade Destination for Once-Promising RB

can grab momentum
Aug 3, 2023; Eagan, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings head coach Kevin O'Connell and team owner Ziggy Wilf talk at training camp at TCO Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

There are some reasons why the Minnesota Vikings are one of six 0-2 teams in the NFL. Certainly, the biggest one is the unacceptable fumbling problem. The Vikings have lost six fumbles in two games, an awful statistic. In addition to that, the rushing defense has been a disaster in Week 2, although the defense has looked better overall.

Vikings Viewed as Trade Destination for Once-Promising RB

Another problem is the rushing attack. It turns out that parting ways with Dalvin Cook and installing his backup, Alexander Mattison, as the top guy while adding blocking tight end Josh Oliver was not the solution for the struggling running game. Sixty-nine rushing yards through two games is among the worst outputs of an NFL franchise in the Super Bowl era.

Vikings Viewed as Trade Destination for Once-Promising Running Back
Jan 8, 2023; Seattle, Washington, USA; Los Angeles Rams running back Cam Akers (3) rushes against Seattle Seahawks linebacker Cody Barton (57) during the first quarter at Lumen Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports.

For that reason, the organization is an obvious trade candidate for a new running back, and guess what? Cam Akers is on the market. The Los Angeles Rams benched him last year and tried to trade him, but he returned to the role as the bellcow back late in the season. Once again, he landed on the trade block, and sophomore Kyren Williams has taken over as the starter.

Ian Rapoport reported on X: “Sources: The Rams have had trade talks centered around RB Cam Akers. The starter in Week 1 was inactive for Week 2 after a difficult week of practice. Kyren Williams is now the starter, and Akers’ spot is up in the air.”

Bleacher Report’s Jack Murray put together a list of teams that are possible landing spots, and the Vikings were part of that list.

The Vikings parted ways with long-time back Dalvin Cook in the offseason and appeared keen on handing the keys over to Alexander Mattison.

His 2023 has not gotten off to a hot start, as he only has 62 yards on 19 carries and notably lost a fumble during the team’s Week 2 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.

This is obviously not a reason to part ways with him but Mattison has been successful in a tandem situation in the past, so acquiring Akers could be a solid option to boost his productivity.

Jan 3, 2021; Inglewood, California, USA; Los Angeles Rams running back Cam Akers (23) carries Arizona Cardinals linebacker Tanner Vallejo (51) during the first half at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Akers has been an effective runner when given the chance, so it is quite strange how the Rams treat him. The fourth-year runner played in a committee in his debut season, rushing for 625 yards and 2 scores in 13 games. He added 272 yards from scrimmage in two postseason games.

Shortly before the 2021 season began, Akers tore his Achilles, often a death sentence for runners. Akers was different as he returned to form and made a miraculous comeback in the final regular season game, and he starred in the playoffs for the eventual Super Bowl winners, adding roughly 250 scrimmage yards in four games.

Jan 9, 2021; Seattle, Washington, USA; Los Angeles Rams running back Cam Akers (23) celebrates his touchdown run with offensive tackle Bobby Evans (71) and wide receiver Robert Woods (17) during the second quarter against the Seattle Seahawks at Lumen Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports.

Akers was expected to take over as the leading rusher but had an up-and-down year, losing the trust of his coaching staff just to get it back later in the year, ending the season with three straight 100-yard rushing games and a total of 786 rushing yards and 7 touchdowns.

He is 24 years old, and the former second-round pick could spark Minnesota’s rushing attack. Akers spent his first two seasons with Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell, who was the offensive coordinator at that time.

The worth of running backs has never been lower in the NFL, and the Rams clearly don’t value Akers. A trade shouldn’t cost much. The Vikings are certainly a team to watch in the Akers sweepstakes.

Janik Eckardt is a football fan who likes numbers and stats. The Vikings became his favorite team despite their quarterback at the time, Christian Ponder. He is a walking soccer encyclopedia, loves watching sitcoms, and Classic rock is his music genre of choice. Follow him on Twitter if you like the Vikings: @JanikEckardt