The Tampa Bay Buccaneers could be looking for a new running back following Chase Edmonds’ injury.
According to NFL insider Jordan Schultz, the Buccaneers have “checked in” with the Los Angeles Rams regarding a trade for running back Cam Akers. The news comes shortly after Akers was declared inactive for the team’s Week 2 game against the San Francisco 49ers a week after starting the season opener against the Seattle Seahawks.
Why the Buccaneers Are Interested in Cam Akers
The Buccaneers’ interest in the former Super Bowl champion running back also comes shortly after it was reported that Edmonds would be out four-to-six weeks due to an MCL sprain injury.
“Sources: Several teams have checked in with the #Rams about a potential Cam Akers trade – including the #Buccaneers, #Ravens, #Raiders and #Browns – among others,” writes Schultz. “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.”
Rams head coach Sean McVay has already publicly commented that the franchise is seeking a trade for their former second-round draft pick. McVay revealed that the team had spoken with several teams regarding a potential Akers trade.
Via ESPN’s Sarah Bishop:
“Rams head coach Sean McVay said general manager Les Snead has spoken with ‘a handful of teams’ about a trade for running back Cam Akers, and ‘that’s the direction that we’re headed.’Akers was a healthy scratch Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers, something McVay called a ‘coach’s decision’ that was made in the ‘best interest’ of the team.”
Why Buccaneers Trade for Cam Akers Makes Sense
The interest from the Buccaneers makes sense considering their depth beyond second-year back Rachaad White is thin following Edmonds’ injury. Tampa Bay’s primary backup is undrafted rookie Sean Tucker, who has 13 carries for 22 yards through the first two games of the season. The only other backup is Ke’Shawn Vaughn, who has yet to appear in a game this season and has seen the majority of his playing time on special teams during his career.
Akers previously went through a fractured relationship with the Rams last season, missing several weeks due to personal reasons. As Bishop notes, the Rams also explored the option of finding Akers a fresh start with a new team last season before he eventually returned and started the remainder of the season for Los Angeles.
“Last season, Akers spent nearly a month away from the Rams in the middle of the season after McVay said they explored the option of finding the running back ‘a fresh new start with another team.’ Earlier last year, McVay told reporters that he wanted to see more urgency from Akers. McVay said Sunday that this situation with Akers ‘is different’ from what transpired last season,” writes Bishop.
When he’s on the field, Akers a productive back. The 24-year-old ran for a career-high 188 carries for 786 rushing yards (4.2 yards per carry) and nine touchdowns in 15 games and nine starts during the 2022 season.
Despite missing the majority of the 2021 season due to a torn Achilles, Akers returned before the end of the regular season and started three of the Rams’ four playoff games during their Super Bowl run. He finished with a team-leading 67 carries for 172 rushing yards.
Considering Akers is on the final year of a cheap rookie deal — $1.5 million in base salary, 37th among all running backs — expect him to be a hot commodity until he’s traded.