In a very busy Wednesday afternoon in the NFL, the day was capped off with a trade that sent a running back who fell out of favor with his current team, to a team that has struggled desperately running the football. Cam Akers has been the center of trade talks from the Rams for the last year, and Wednesday evening the Rams finally moved on from the former second-round pick sending him to the Minnesota Vikings, as well as a 2026 7th round pick, for a 2026 6th round pick.
What The Cam Akers Trade Means For Los Angeles
It has seemed like Akers has fallen out of favor with LA for the better part of the last year. From being inactive several weeks last season around the trade deadline, the rumored character issues, and arguments with Rams management, all those fators combined with the emergence of second year back Kyren Williams was the end of the line for his Akers’ Rams tenure.
This deal does not change much for the Rams a whole. They get a late-round pick for a player they no longer felt fit their team, and they get to move forward with Kyren Williams are their primary starter for the foreseeable future. The real intrigue comes from the other team involved in the Cam Akers trade: The Minnesota Vikings.
What This Deal Means For Minnesota
After moving on from Dalvin Cook in the off-season, Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah put the faith of his running backs room in the hands of fifth year back Alexander Mattison. After four seasons of being the complementary piece to Cook in the offense, and showing flashes of play-making ability during that span, Kwesi gave Mattison a contract extension with the hopes he could replace some of the load lost with Cook’s departure.
Through two weeks, that has not been the case at all. Mattison is averaging just 3 yards per carry and has only one rush for a first down all season — and had a costly fumble in last week’s 34-28 loss in Philadelphia. Minnesota currently ranks dead last in the league with a not-so-nice 69 rushing yards through two weeks. So what does the trade for Cam Akers mean for Minnesota and how should it be viewed?
Pros Of The Cam Akers Trade
Before diving into specifics of the player, the fit, and the role of Akers on the offense itself, just by looking at this trade on paper Kwesi has made another stellar move. Getting Cam Akers, a 24 year old with upside, for just a 2026 sixth-round pick is a great move.
Kwesi has made similar moves like this in his Vikings tenure already. Last season he traded a mid-round pick to Philadelphia for Jalen Reagor, and also moved a late-round pick to Houston for Ross Blacklock. Did those moves pan out the way Vikings fans wanted them to? No. But Kwesi being unafraid to make moves like these is something Vikings fans should applaud and appreciate.
This trade will allow Mattison to move back into a secondary role, where he has performed better in the majority of his career — when Dalvin Cook was still in purple. Presumably Mattison will start this weekend against the Chargers while Akers gets adapted to the system, playbook, and nuances of a very complicated offense. But, after a week or two, Akers could very well step into that starting role moving forward.
The familiarity with this system is another reason this move is a good one for Minnesota. Akers played under Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell during the 2020 and 2021 seasons, while he was the offensive coordinator of the Rams, and has had success with KOC as his primary play caller before. This should make the transition for Akers smooth and easier, which could get him on the field in a more high-capacity role sooner rather than later.
Vikings fans are split on this move, and I personally have my reservations as well (which we will get to later in this article) but let’s face it: The run game couldn’t get much worse. A move in some capacity was bound to happen sooner or later, and after Kareem Hunt signed with Cleveland earlier Wednesday morning, the Vikings did not have a ton of upgrade options available to them that fit the scheme, besides Akers. There is virtually no risk to this trade, as the team only gave up a sixth rounder in 2026, and the reward could be Akers returning to his old form that we saw earlier in his Rams tenure, before the Achilles injury.
The Reservations Of The Cam Akers Trade
On paper there are not any “Cons” to this deal. Minnesota got a potential starting RB and a potential upgrade to their bad run game for a very late round draft pick that is not for another two years. However, there are some things that Vikings fans should be weary of and take note of in the wake of the Cam Akers trade.
As mentioned before, Kwesi has not been shy about trading away draft picks for players who need a change of scenery. Reagor and Blacklock were both acquired last season with the hopes they could revitalize their career in Minnesota, and both were unsuccessful and were waived this off-season. Will Cam Akers have the same fate?
That seems unlikely. However, as much as we can appreciate and commemorate Kwesi’s ability to make these moves, we can also be weary after the mixed results these moves have produced for Minnesota so far.
Akers, like Mattison, is also very inefficient and performs better as a secondary piece rather than a lead back. In Week 1, Akers averaged an abysmal 1.3 yards per carry on 22 attempts. That led to his healthy scratch in Week 2. Vikings fans may need to lower their expectations for Akers in this deal; this isn’t a trade for a bell-cow, workhorse back. This is a trade for a piece to help complement Mattison and hopefully get the ground game going in the right direction.
On paper, the Cam Akers trade is a win for both parties The Rams got rid of a player they no longer wanted in their organization, and Kwesi, yet again using his “Moneyball” mentality, gets a young player with potential for very little draft capital.
The Vikings run game could not get much worse, so bringing in Akers — or anybody else — was going to happen at some point. The move happening this early in the season is a sign the front office and coaching staff believe this team can turn their 0-2 start around fairly quickly.
What this means for the Vikings as far as the direction of their franchise past this year has yet to be determined, but it is going to be a lot of fun to follow.