The Baltimore Ravens are trying to make do without J.K. Dobbins after he suffered a season-ending Achilles injury. John Harbaugh insisted he likes the group they have at the running back position, although there are plenty of options in the trade market and free agency.
Sources: 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.
Akers was surprisingly benched for the Rams’ Week 2 contest against the San Francisco 49ers, and now he has been thrown on the trade block for the second straight year.
The Cam Akers Trade Saga
During the 2022 season, the Rams shopped Akers but found no suitable trade partner. Then, Akers put his differences aside for the time being. In Week 1 of the 2023 campaign, Akers had a team-high 22 carries but rushed for just 29 yards and a touchdown. Kyrien Williams, the 2022 fifth-round choice out of Notre Dame, led the team with 52 yards and two scores on 15 carries.
Then, in Week 2, Akers was benched, and head coach Sean McVay spoke on that situation, per Heavy Sports’ Lorenzo Reyna:
“It is more about, I’m always going to make decisions that I think are in the best interest of our football team,” McVay said. “I have tremendous respect for Cam Akers, but I felt like for our football team today and in this game and as we move forward, that was going to be the best decision for us…Felt like that was best for our football team,” he said. “Felt like Kyren (Williams) gave us the best opportunity, and what Ronnie (Rivers) and Royce (Freeman) have done, so that was the decision I made.”
It’s safe to say Akerswas caught off guard by the decision as well:
The Rams did come up short in Week 2, but Williams looked every bit the part with 14 carries for 52 yards and a score and six catches for 48 yards and another touchdown, all but shutting the door on Akers’ tenure with the Rams.
Examining Cam Akers’ Fit With the Ravens
Despite Harbaugh’s comments on the current running back room consisting of Justice Hill, Gus Edwards, and Melvin Gordon, trade rumors have been thrown around constantly.
The Ravens defeated the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 2, and Edwards led the way with 10 carries for 62 yards and a score. Lamar Jackson was second with 54 yards on 12 carries, and Hill added 11 carries for 41 yards.
But, taking a flier on Akers is worth the risk, especially given the expected low price the Rams will want for him. A late Day 2 or Day 3 draft pick should be enough to get the job done, and Akers has shown plenty of potential during his career.
In 2020, Akers put together a solid rookie season with 625 yards and a pair of touchdowns but suffered a season-ending Achilles injury in 2021. Then, in 2022, he put up career-highs in carries (188), yards (786) and touchdowns (7) despite the trade buzz.
Glenn Erby of Ravens Wire also sees Akers as a potential fit for the team: “Baltimore is solid at running back with Justice Hill, Gus Edwards, Melvin Gordon, and undrafted rookie Keaton Mitchell. Still, Akers could complement Lamar Jackson while taking the Ravens’ offense to another level.”
Cory Woodroof of For The Win also mentioned the Ravens as a viable option: “The most obvious candidate for an Akers trade would be the Ravens, who lost J.K. Dobbins to a season-ending injury last week and could use someone with the versatility that Akers brings to the table…He could fit in as a rotational back with upside in the passing game and help Baltimore’s offense better withstand Dobbins’ injury.”
If Akers does end up in Baltimore, he would likely be part of the committee approach until one of the backs emerges as the go-to option.
Per the report from Jordan Schultz, a few other teams are interested, including the Cleveland Browns and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who just suffered injuries to Nick Chubb and Chase Edmonds, respectively.