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Rams will attempt to mend fences with Cam Akers after turning down trade offers

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By: Kenneth Arthur

Set Number: X163970 TK1

According to reports, Sean McVay will turn back to Akers for running back help

The Los Angeles Rams turned down multiple trade offers for running back Cam Akers, according to a report by NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero on Wednesday. Why would they do that?

The Rams have kept Akers inactive for the last two games after reported “philosophical differences” with Sean McVay and the team was openly shopping him on the trade market for multiple weeks. Logic would dictate that the Rams should have accepted anything for Akers, even a day three pick swap, but apparently McVay would seem to feel that L.A. could do no better at the position after failing to come to any trade agreements for a replacement.

The Rams were rumored to have offered four draft picks and Akers for Christian McCaffrey, losing out on the bidding to the San Francisco 49ers. Multiple running backs were traded on Tuesday, including Jeff Wilson, Chase Edmonds, and Nyheim Hines, but the Rams did not end up as the landing spot for any of those options.

Now it seems that L.A. has no choice but to give Akers another chance because there’s little optimism that Darrell Henderson will turn on the lights after 3.5 seasons in the NFL, that Malcolm Brown is going to become Jim Brown, or that Ronnie Rivers is an undrafted gem. The Rams also have rookie Kyren Williams, but he’s literally never suited up for an NFL team before and is still getting his feet wet with practices. We have no idea how good of an NFL player that Williams will turn out to be.

What we do know about Akers is that he hasn’t been good since returning from a torn Achilles.

In that period of time, Akers has appeared in 10 games and carried the ball 123 times for 326 yards, an average of 2.65 yards per carry. He has also caught 13 passes for 104 yards, but 40 of those yards came on a single reception against the Cardinals. Generally, Akers is not a dual threat and that’s been a question since his days at Florida State. I think that’s going to be one of the biggest issues for Akers, which is that when he’s on the field, the defense is rarely in for a surprise: He gets a carry on about 50% of his snaps.

If Akers struggles in pass protection and isn’t a receiving threat, then teams know why he’s in the game. If a running back is going to be that obvious, like say Derrick Henry, then he also has to be extremely hard to tackle. Like Henry.

The Titans average 2.2 yards before contact per run (28th in the NFL), and the Rams average 2.0 yards before contact (30th). Not a large difference.

However, the Titans average 2.2 yards after contact per run (tied for fourth) and the Rams average 1.2 yards after contact (31st).

Josh Jacobs, who gets the ball on about 30% of his snaps, is averaging 3.3 yards after contact per run.

The Rams have a poor blocking offensive line, but they also have no ability to create yards after contact. That’s the same problem that Akers had at Florida State behind the worst offensive line in college football. Perhaps McVay thought that he could replicate behind a bad offensive line in the NFL, but instead he’s just a one dimensional back who didn’t have enough trade value left to warrant a deal at the deadline.

That’s an issue for Akers, it’s an issue for the Rams. Now it seems like they’re going to have to solve their issues together. Philosophically distant or not.