Trade Proposal Sends Chiefs’ Clyde Edwards-Helaire to NFC in 1-for-1 RB Swap

Getty Kansas City Chiefs running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire.

With the NFL’s Nov. 1 trade deadline inching closer, it doesn’t hurt to look at some positions on the Kansas City Chiefs roster that could use an upgrade or provide some trade value.

One position of intrigue in Kansas City is running back. The Chiefs’ backfield started the regular season off hot; the primary producer among the running backs during the first two games was Clyde Edwards-Helaire. The third-year back accumulated 190 total yards on offense and had 2 receiving touchdowns against the Arizona Cardinals and Los Angeles Chargers combined (116 rushing, 76 receiving).

In Week 3 against the Indianapolis Colts, Kansas City’s rushing attack only gathered 58 yards on 23 total carries, which included 26 yards on 4 carries from quarterback Patrick Mahomes. However, in Week 4 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers the Chiefs’ backfield bounced back with 189 rushing yards and Edwards-Helaire was the leading producer again (19 carries, 92 yards, 2 total touchdowns).

But over the last two games, Edwards-Helaire has not been able to produce.

In the Week 5 win over the Las Vegas Raiders, CEH mustered up just 35 total yards on 13 touches (9 rushing, 3 receiving). He then followed up that effort with 9 total touches — none of which were catches — for 33 yards in the Week 6 loss to the Buffalo Bills.

Granted, both the Raiders and Bills have stout run defense units, which should be taken into consideration when evaluating CEH. However, if you then also consider that the Chiefs’ run blocking is ranked No. 5 overall in the league by PFF, it’s fair to say that, in a contract year, Edwards-Helaire is once again not producing consistently.

So, maybe a fresh start would be good for the 2020 first-round pick. That’s why one analyst thinks the Chiefs should pull off a rare 1-for-1 trade in the coming weeks.

Trade: CEH to Rams for Akers

In this hypothetical situation, Sportskeeda’s Nick Igbokwe believes a sensible trade for Kansas City ahead of the trade deadline is a player swap in which Edwards-Helaire is sent to the Los Angeles Rams in exchange for running back Cam Akers.

Akers, 23, was a second-round pick of the Rams in 2020. After taking over Los Angeles’ backfield during his rookie season, he suffered a torn Achilles in July of 2021, which typically knocks a player out for one full season if not more based on when the injury took place.

However, Akers miraculously returned in Week 17 of that season and managed 75 total touches during the Rams’ Super Bowl run.

This season, things aren’t going as great as they were last season in Los Angeles. The Rams are 3-3 and are having offensive line issues, which has led to the offense being ranked 18th in the NFL in run blocking and 30th in pass blocking by PFF through six games. On top of that, Akers has reportedly had disagreements with the Rams coaching staff about his role, which led to the point of him being inactive for the team’s last two games.

Does 1-for-1 Trade Make Sense?

A change of scenery for CEH and Akers in a 1-for-1 trade does actually makes sense.

“Cam Akers, the Los Angeles Rams running back, brings a few perks in his stride,” Igbokwe wrote on October 20. “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.”

Akers’ physical, downhill approach to the running back position is what the Chiefs need, which is why many fans have been calling for rookie Isiah Pacheco — who has averaged 4.8 yards per carry this season — to touch the football more.

So, if Kansas would like to pair Pacheco will another young and very talented runner with a similar style of play, Akers is a sensible option.

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