NFL trade grades: Vikings cough up pennies for Rams RB Cam Akers

The Vikings just finalized a trade to acquire running back Cam Akers from the Rams. Here are our trade grades.

Los Angeles Rams v Seattle Seahawks
Los Angeles Rams v Seattle Seahawks / Alika Jenner/GettyImages

Somewhere, Rams head coach Sean McVay is breathing a deep sigh of relief. He's done it. He got rid of Cam Akers.

It's unclear as to when or how things started to sour between Akers and the Rams franchise this year. Akers requested a trade back in 2022 and left the team for a few weeks, but when he returned, everything seemed like it was back to normal. The former second-rounder finished last season with 786 yards and seven touchdowns, and there didn't appear to be any bad blood between the two sides moving forward.

In 2023, the fourth-year back was the de facto RB1 and got 22 touches in the Rams' season-opener against the Seahawks. Akers was deactivated ahead of Week 2 due to a coach's decision, and the trade rumors have been piling up ever since.

Out of all the places Akers could have ended up this season, he now finds a new home with the Minnesota Vikings, as first reported by Adam Schefter.

The trade involved a swap of 2026 draft picks, the specifics of which have yet to be revealed.

Here are our trade grades.

akers grade vikings. A. Cam Akers. Trade Grade. Minnesota Vikings

After going 0-2 to start the season, this would be one way to jumpstart the Vikings' flatlining soul. Akers will join Alexander Mattison in the backfield, and the two could tag-team backfield duties for the rest of the season. Not so great for fantasy managers, but uplifting news for a Vikings' rushing attack that was averaging 2.7 yards per carry through two games.

At 24 years old, Akers still has a pep in his step with decent pass-catching potential as well. No one should forget the way he miraculously recovered from a torn Achilles nor his crucial playoff contributions to help the Rams win the Super Bowl in 2021.

Akers worked with Vikings coach Kevin O'Connell and offensive coordinator Wes Phillips back in Los Angeles, so he shouldn't need much time to get caught up to speed.

Considering that the deal only involves a swap of 2026 picks, and that Akers has just a $1.9 million cap hit in 2023, this was a low-risk move by the Vikings that could help save their season. Their offensive line issues aren't going away and will likely hinder Akers' production on his new team, but this Vikings offense clearly needs an injection of something right now -- Akers could be it.

Cam Akers. Trade Grade. Los Angeles Rams. rams akers grade. B+

A week from now, The Athletic will probably reveal a damning article on the fractured relationship between Akers and the Rams. But until that happens, it's anybody guess as to why the two couldn't make things work in 2023.

The time to trade Cam Akers would have been last season. Now, the Rams have sold low on the tailback and only get what one can assume is a slightly higher mid- to late-round pick in return. Their running back corps gets thinner with Kyren Williams as the top back and unproven depth behind him (Ronnie Rivers, Zach Evans).

Will they regret this move? Most likely not. Offloading a disgruntled back cleanses the Rams of whatever bad juju they were feeling that caused them to deactivate Akers in the first place. That being said, their running back room is weaker now. They had better pray Williams stays healthy all year round.

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