Vikings Trade for $6 Million RB, Agree to Pick Swap

Alexander Mattison, Vikings

Getty Running back Alexander Mattison of the Minnesota Vikings has a new teammate in Cam Akers.

The Minnesota Vikings have addressed an obvious need in the running back room via a trade with the Los Angeles Rams.

Minnesota acquired Cam Akers from L.A. on Wednesday, September 20, in exchange for a swap of draft picks several years down the road, per Adam Schefter of ESPN.

“Trade: Rams are sending RB Cam Akers to the Minnesota Vikings for a swap of 2026 draft picks, per sources,” Schefter posted to X.

Schefter’s initial report did not include information pertaining to the round of the 2026 draft in which the teams will swap selections.

Los Angeles drafted Akers with the No. 52 overall pick in the second round back in 2020. The running back is now playing in the fourth and final season of his $6.2 million rookie contract and will hit unrestricted free agency in March 2024 unless the Vikings decide to extend him before that.

Cam Akers Has Shown Flashes of High-Level Play Throughout Early NFL Career

Cam Akers of the Los Angeles Rams is a trade target for the Cleveland Browns.

GettyRunning back Cam Akers, formerly of the Los Angeles Rams, is now a member of the Minnesota Vikings following a trade that was executed on Wednesday, September 20. 

Akers’ career has been a roller coaster ride over the past four years.

He contributed meaningfully as a rookie, appearing in 13 games and earning five starts on his way to 748 total yards from scrimmage and three touchdowns. He played just one game in 2021, recording five rushing attempts and three receptions before suffering an Achilles tear that cost him the remainder of the season — one in which the Rams went on to win the Super Bowl.

Akers bounced back strong in 2022, making 15 regular-season appearances and nine starts. He rushed for 786 yards and 7 TDs, adding 13 catches for 117 yards, per Pro Football Reference. Akers played in the Rams’ season-opener against the Seattle Seahawks earlier this month, during which he scored a touchdown. However, he produced just 29 yards on 22 carries.

Meanwhile, second-year running back Kyren Williams out of Notre Dame is in the midst of a breakout campaign. Williams has already scored 4 total touchdowns and hauled in 15 receptions over just two games.

The Rams chose to de-activate Akers in Week 2 against the San Francisco 49ers, a decision to which the 24-year-old RB responded on social media.

“I’m just as confused as everybody else,” Akers posted to X on Sunday, September 17. “I’m blessed, though 🤷‍♂️.”

Cam Akers’ Relationship with Vikings Head Coach Kevin O’Connell Played Role in Trade

Kevin O'Connell, Vikings

GettyHead coach Kevin O’Connell of the Minnesota Vikings was instrumental in the team’s decision to trade for former Los Angeles Rams running back Cam Akers.

One way in which Akers is clearly blessed is his ongoing relationship with Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell. The two worked together in Los Angeles, where O’Connell was the offensive coordinator before accepting the top job in Minneapolis.

Schefter added on X that the relationship was key to the trade and Minnesota’s ultimate decision to go with Akers over other options.

“Vikings’ HC Kevin O’Connell worked with Cam Akers in Los Angeles and wanted to work with him again in Minnesota,” Schefter wrote.

Akers now joins a running back room led by starter Alexander Mattison and current backup Ty Chandler. Mattison, who backed up Dalvin Cook in Minnesota for four seasons, signed a two-year deal worth $7 million to take over starting duties in 2023. He has struggled thus far, amassing just 62 rushing yards on 19 attempts. Mattison has also caught six passes for 21 yards and a touchdown.

Chandler, meanwhile, has gained zero yards rushing on four carries through two games. He has recorded three catches for a total of 27 yards.

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