The Cam Akers Trade Is a Win-Win for the Vikings

Jan 23, 2022; Tampa, Florida, USA; Los Angeles Rams running back Cam Akers (23) runs the ball against Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Carlton Davis (24) during the first halfin a NFC Divisional playoff football game at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports

On Wednesday, the Minnesota Vikings made a move to bring in RB Cam Akers after a horrendous start to the season in terms of their rushing offense.

Through two weeks, the Vikings have attempted just 26 carries for 69 yards, ranking at the very bottom of the league in both categories.

In addition, the Rams and Vikings will swap conditional late-round draft picks in 2026 (Vikings send a sixth-rounder to the Rams; Rams send a seventh-rounder to the Vikings), but there is a massive caveat to that swap. As a result, the trade looks to be a win-win for the Vikings.

The Cam Akers Trade Is a Win-Win for the Vikings

Cam Akers Trade
Sep 10, 2023; Seattle, Washington, USA; Los Angeles Rams running back Cam Akers (3) prior to the game against the Seattle Seahawks at Lumen Field. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

This caveat was revealed on Thursday morning by Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. In order for the exchange to happen, Akers must total at least 500 yards from scrimmage this season (rushing and receiving yards combined).

If this does not happen, the Vikings essentially will have received Akers for free from the Rams. They just have to pay a portion of his $1.9 million salary for this year.

On the other hand, if Akers were to find a way to total 500 yards it would indicate that Minnesota has gotten a major boost in their backfield. The Vikings haven’t had two 500-yard rushers on their team since 2018 when both Dalvin Cook and Latavius Murray did so. Even still, this largely happened because Cook played only 11 games during the season.

Sep 11, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) the hands the ball off to running back Dalvin Cook. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

If that is the case, what does it matter that the Vikings could lose a draft pick, especially one late in the draft, a few years down the road? This season is all about trying to compete while players like Kirk Cousins and Danielle Hunter are under contract.

It isn’t as if these are outlandish totals for Akers to reach, either. In his rookie season, he totaled 145 carries for 625 yards and a pair of TDs. A torn Achilles in 2021 caused him to miss all but one game of O’Connell’s final season as offensive coordinator. The RB would return in time for the playoffs, totaling 67 carries for 172 yards en route to the Rams’ Super Bowl victory.

Feb 13, 2022; Inglewood, California, USA; Los Angeles Rams running back Cam Akers (23) celebrates with Melissa Whitworth, wife of teammate offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth (77), after defeating the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

2022 saw a slow start for Akers, but he came roaring back down the stretch of the season, totaling 63 carries for 345 rushing yards and 3 TDs in the final three games of the season. In total, he recorded 188 carries for 786 yards and 7 TDs last season.

This year, he has totaled 23 carries for just 29 yards, but perhaps a change of scenery is exactly what he needed, considering the trade rumors have been circulating around him for months.

In the end, the Vikings will either hold on to their draft capital, or they will get some strong production out of their new running back. Either way, Minnesota seems like a winner here.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.

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