Now the focus returns to Cam Akers and what the Los Angeles Rams will do with Christian McCaffrey officially out of the picture for the “Rams House.”
For weeks, there was a constant buildup of McCaffrey possibly heading over to the Rams to bolster the backfield. Mentioned in this Heavy on Rams article from Thursday, October 21, the Rams were in the final running for “Run CMC” until the San Francisco 49ers rewarded the Carolina Panthers with a more enticing offer.
Or as 49ers insider Matt Barrows of The Athletic called it, the rival Niners went into “F Them Picks” mode — a term Ram fans know got popularized by general manager Les Snead.
Following the McCaffrey fallout, Akers now becomes the most scrutinized running back with the league’s trade deadline 11 days away on November 1. His name has already been attached to the Denver Broncos, Minnesota Vikings, even the 49ers before the swap for McCaffrey.
But one analyst proposed this idea that involves the Rams luring in a former first rounder who is looking more under used and buried in his own offense.
Deal Brings RB Salvation for Both Backs
The idea from Nick Igbokwe of Sportskeeda: Akers to the Kansas City Chiefs for Clyde Edwards-Helaire.
Yes, the first rounder the Chiefs selected following their Super Bowl 54 run is the one who comes over if the Rams were to decide to orchestrate a deal with the Chiefs. Igbokwe has noticed how things have began to turn sour on the former LSU Tiger Edwards-Helaire.
“Clyde Edwards-Helaire is a decent player. However, even his most ardent supporters would admit that he hasn’t lived up to expectations since being drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in the first round of 2020,” Igbokwe wrote. “Edwards-Helaire has a couple of solid traits that are beneficial to a top-tier offense. However, it’s telling of Andy Reid’s trust in him that he isn’t fed more often.”
Meanwhile, he believes that Akers would benefit from a change of scenery…and give Super Bowl winning head coach Andy Reid a rare physical back for his offense.
“Cam Akers, the Los Angeles Rams running back, brings a few perks in his stride. He is stout, strong, and versatile and has a tough streak about him. He would add some bite to a Chiefs’ locker room presently lacking some much-needed grit,” Igbokwe wrote.
Is Edwards-Helaire in a Similar Situation to Akers?
It’s rare to think that Edwards-Helaire, who was in the same draft class as the 5-foot-11 Akers but went 20 spots ahead of the former Florida State Seminole, has become considered lost in an offense that fits his style of play.
One reason why the 5-foot-7, 207-pounder was drafted was because he fit the mold of past Reid backs: Short but stout, displayed quick cutting ability, can make defenders miss tackles and can catch out of the backfield.
However, here are the signs that point to Edwards-Helaire getting buried in Arrowhead:
Yardage decrease: Following a solid 803-yard season on the rushing end and 1,100 total yards during his rookie season, Edwards-Helaire saw a drop off in 2021 with 517 ground yardage and 646 total yards from scrimmage. This season he only has 393 all-purpose yardage through six games.
Touches decrease: Just when things were looking promising on the usage end for the 32nd overall pick of ’20 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 4 of this season — a 19-carry, 92-yard, two touchdown night for him — Edwards-Helaire has been limited to nine carries in the next two games. He also didn’t catch a pass against the Buffalo Bills in the Week 6 loss.
Snaps decrease: Edwards-Helaire received a season-high 45 offensive snaps against the Bucs. However, in the next two games, he was in on 31 plays versus the Las Vegas Raiders then went down to 28 against the Bills per Pro Football Focus.
If a move were to be made on the Chiefs’ end, the next team would need to take on Edwards-Helaire’s $1,593,779 base salary for 2022 and his $2,085,669 salary for 2023 per Spotrac.
The two 2020 running backs has seen their production, touches, and snap counts dilute. Now a potential swap has sparked some new intrigue.