The focus now shifts back to Cam Akers and what the Los Angeles Rams will do now that Christian McCaffrey is officially out of the running for the “Rams House.”
New Rams Trade Suggestion: Cam Akers for Ex-First-Round Pick Buried in Offense
For weeks, speculation swirled that McCaffrey would join the Rams as a backup running back. As mentioned in this Heavy on Rams article from Thursday, October 21, the Rams were in the running for “Run CMC” until the San Francisco 49ers made a more enticing offer to the Carolina Panthers.
Or, as 49ers insider Matt Barrows of The Athletic put it, the rival Niners went into “F Them Picks” mode, a term popularized by Rams general manager Les Snead.
F them picks: With Christian McCaffrey, 49ers beat Rams to the punch … and steal their slogan
via @TheAthletic https://t.co/79lAXJ84TN
— Matt Barrows (@mattbarrows) October 21, 2022
Following the McCaffrey saga, Akers has become the league’s most scrutinized running back, with the league’s trade deadline on November 1 only 11 days away. Before the McCaffrey trade, his name had already been linked to the Denver Broncos, Minnesota Vikings, and even the San Francisco 49ers.
However, one analyst proposed the Rams luring in a former first-round pick who appears to be underutilized and buried in his own offense.
Both backs will benefit from the deal
Akers to the Kansas City Chiefs for Clyde Edwards-Helaire, according to Sportskeeda’s Nick Igbokwe.
Yes, the Chiefs’ first-round pick following their Super Bowl 54 run is the one who comes over if the Rams decide to strike a deal with the Chiefs. Igbokwe has observed how the former LSU Tiger Edwards-situation Helaire’s has deteriorated.
“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 thinks Akers could benefit from a change of scenery… “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.
It’s difficult to believe that Edwards-Helaire, who was in the same draft class as the 5-foot-11 Akers but was drafted 20 spots ahead of the former Florida State Seminole, has become lost in an offense that fits his style of play.
The 5-foot-7, 207-pounder was drafted in part because he fit the mold of previous Reid backs: Short but powerful, demonstrated quick cutting ability, can cause defenders to miss tackles, and can catch out of the backfield.
However, the following indicators point to Edwards-Helaire being buried in Arrowhead:
Yardage decrease: After a solid 803-yard rushing season and 1,100 total yards in his rookie season, Edwards-Helaire saw a drop in 2021 with 517 ground yards and 646 total yards from scrimmage. Through six games this season, he has only 393 all-purpose yards.
Touches decrease: After a 19-carry, 92-yard, two-touchdown performance against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 4 of this season — a 19-carry, 92-yard, two-touchdown performance — Edwards-Helaire has been limited to nine carries in the next two games. He also did not catch a pass in the Week 6 loss to the Buffalo Bills.
Snaps decrease: Edwards-Helaire played 45 offensive snaps against the Buccaneers, a season high. However, in the next two games, he was in on 31 plays against the Las Vegas Raiders and 28 against the Bills, according to Pro Football Focus.
If the Chiefs make a move, the next team would have to take on Edwards-$1,593,779 Helaire’s base salary for 2022 and his $2,085,669 salary for 2023, according to Spotrac.
The two 2020 running backs’ production, touches, and snap counts have all decreased. A potential swap has sparked new interest.