The Cleveland Browns are faced with the impossible task of trying to replace star running back Nick Chubb following his season-ending injury. On Tuesday, head coach Kevin Stefanski said the front office is considering several different paths to add another difference-maker to the backfield.
It should be no surprise, then, that the Browns have already been linked to a potential trade target.
Browns Trade Rumors
NFL insider Jordan Schultz reports Cleveland is among the teams that have called the Los Angeles Rams regarding disgruntled RB Cam Akers. The Rams appear ready to officially part ways with the former second-round pick, and a trade (or release) is certainly among the possibilities.
Akers is an intriguing option. He didn't exactly burst onto the scene as a rookie, making just five starts while recording 625 yards and 2 touchdowns on the ground in 2020. He broke out in the playoffs, however, posting a whopping 221 rushing yards across just two games.
Then, just as he was primed to take over as "The Guy" in 2021, he suffered a preseason Achilles tear that robbed him of basically his entire sophomore campaign. Akers returned to log four so-so performances during Los Angeles' Super Bowl run, making some question if he'd ever regain his pre-injury burst.
Akers quieted some of the doubts with his bounce-back 2022 campaign. He averaged a solid 4.2 yards per carry while setting career highs in starts (9), attempts (188), yards (786) and TDs (7). Despite that performance, it's clear the Rams want to go in a different direction, which sets the stage for an exit to an RB-needy team.
Akers doesn't offer the same physicality as Chubb, but he brings a similar build at 5-foot-11, 212 pounds (Chubb is 5-foot-11, 227 pounds). His encouraging 2022 season shows he can be a lead back in an offense, and a change of scenery to a place that actually appreciates him could do wonders for his production.
The former Florida State Seminole may surprise in a run-focused offense that boasts one of the league's best blocking offensive lines. He also shouldn't be too expensive to acquire, especially if LA is desperate to get rid of him.
A few teams sniffing around Akers could drive the price up a smidge, but the market for starting-level RBs isn't what it used to be. Even if the Browns have to pay a little more than they'd like, Akers is exactly the kind of running back they should take a chance on right now.
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