Cam Akers

NFC West Notes: Cards, Lance, Hawks, Akers

While nothing is certain yet, the Cardinals may be on the lookout for a new GM for the first time in 10 years. Steve Keim took a leave of absence earlier this month and, as of now, is not expected to be back. The Cardinals may be considering keeping their current setup — a dual-GM partnership between Adrian Wilson and Quentin Harris — on a permanent basis, Albert Breer of notes. Arizona has promoted from within to fill its GM post the past two times it opened, elevating Rod Graves in 2003 and then Keim in 2013. Bob Ferguson (1996) represents the franchise’s past outside hire for this post.

Wilson and Harris each played safety with the Cardinals, being teammates from 2002-05, and have worked in the front office for several years. Harris, the team’s VP of player personnel, has been on staff longer — since 2008, when he became a scout — while Wilson, the VP of pro personnel, enjoyed a much longer playing career. Wilson has been a Cards staffer since 2015. Harris interviewed for the Giants’ GM gig this year; Wilson interviewed with the Jaguars. Whomever lands the Arizona GM job will have some pieces to pick up after a turbulent year, and a coaching search could commence.

Here is the latest from the NFC West:

  • When the Seahawks acquired Drew Lock from the Broncos, the front office viewed him as the likely starter, Brady Henderson of notes. Believing they knew what they had in Geno Smith, Russell Wilson‘s backup for three seasons, the Seahawks were planning on Lock taking over. Smith’s contract — one year, $3.5MM — reflects this plan, but Pete Carroll consistently kept the former Jets second-rounder in front of Lock. While the Seahawks have faded since a surprising start, Smith made one the more unlikely Pro Bowl runs in recent QB history. The Seahawks want to re-sign him to a long-term deal.
  • Kliff Kingsbury said the Cardinals did not know about J.J. Watt‘s retirement decision beforehand. The Cardinals signed the three-time Defensive Player of the Year to a two-year, $28MM deal in 2021. Despite Watt suffering another significant injury last season, he rebounded to re-emerge as one of the league’s top D-linemen this year. Watt will pass on a chance to join a contender in free agency next year, and it appears a near-lock he will be inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2028.
  • Colt McCoy cleared concussion protocol and will start for the Cardinals in Week 17, Darren Urban of tweets. Arizona faces Atlanta and San Francisco to close out its season. McCoy is signed to a two-year, $7.5MM deal.
  • Brock Purdy has stepped in and kept the 49ers on course. Prior to Jimmy Garoppolo‘s injury, the team was open to re-signing him. Now, the prospect of Purdy keeping the gig over Trey Lance in 2023 is starting to surface. An anonymous exec told the Washington Post’s Jason La Canfora he is growing more convinced the 49ers will trade Lance and stick with this year’s Mr. Irrelevant. With Lance on a rookie contract through 2024, that would be a wild call — even given Purdy’s early form. But teams would figure to be interested in the former No. 3 overall pick — even if he has only played one full season in his five since high school.
  • Although the Rams tried to trade Cam Akers, they have turned back to him as their top running back. They should be expected to retain him in 2023, Jourdan Rodrigue of The Athletic notes (subscription required). Akers’ career path changed when he tore an Achilles’ tendon in July 2021, but he totaled 147 scrimmage yards and three touchdowns Sunday. Next season will be a contract year for the former second-round pick.
  • Weeks after the Cardinals fired their offensive line coach, Sean Kugler, the dismissed assistant said he did not grope a female security guard in Mexico. Kugler is taking legal action against the Cardinals, whom he contends did not conduct a thorough investigation. The team released a statement (via’s Ian Rapoport, on Twitter) conveying confidence the firing was for cause. Kugler worked for the Cardinals from 2019 until his November firing.

Cam Akers Active For Rams’ Week 9 Game

NOVEMBER 6: Akers will be active for the Rams’ Week 9 matchup against the Bucs, per Adam Schefter of (Twitter link).

NOVEMBER 3: Steadily improving after an unusual blip, the Rams-Cam Akers relationship will now include the running back returning to practice. Akers will suit up for the Rams at their Thursday workout, Tom Pelissero of tweets.

This news comes a day after Pelissero indicated the team turned down multiple trade offers for the third-year back. Those offers likely did not include much in draft compensation, as Sean McVay had said a trade was the likely outcome here. The Rams tried to unload Akers at the deadline, but the former second-round pick appears somewhat close to suiting up for the team again.

Akers and McVay had “a good talk” following the Rams’ decision not to trade their former starting back, Pelissero adds (on Twitter). The prospect of Akers playing against the Buccaneers on Sunday looks to be in play. Akers, who came to disagree with McVay and Co. to set up this odd hiatus, has missed the Rams’ past two games.

While the recent good vibes here could signal a thawing, McVay also did not rule out the possibility of a release. And Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk notes the Rams were the ones rebuffed in trade overtures, rather than being the team turning proposals down. The Rams are believed to have included Akers in their Christian McCaffrey and Brian Burns proposals. It seems fair to assume they pitched him to non-Panthers teams as well.

Akers missed multiple practices leading up to Week 6, and the Rams said personal reasons were behind the absences. But reports soon revealed the Akers-McVay rift, leading to a likelihood of Akers being done with the defending Super Bowl champions. McVay soon said the Rams were trying to move the Florida State alum, and that effort continued up to Tuesday’s trade deadline. With nothing materializing, Akers is short on options to resume his playing career. The Rams cannot trade him again until the start of the 2023 league year.

This is obviously a key development for the Rams, who have not received consistent offensive production from anyone not named Cooper Kupp this season. But they have also not seen Akers display the form he showed before a July 2021 Achilles tear. Akers returned from that severe setback in January and played in all four Rams playoff games. His playoff yards-per-carry average: 2.6. His 2022 YPC figure (3.0) falls in line with that low-level number, inviting concern about Akers’ abilities going forward.

As a rookie in 2020, Akers broke through late in the season and became Los Angeles’ top back. He ripped off a 171-yard performance in his first career start — against the Patriots that December — and then added 131 on the ground in the Rams’ playoff win over the Seahawks. Unless Akers returns closer to that form, his re-emergence may not move the needle much for the Rams’ 31st-ranked rushing attack.

Los Angeles has used a few backs in Akers’ absence, with Darrell Henderson seeing Malcolm Brown and rookie UDFA Ronnie Rivers cut into his role. It will be interesting to see how much the Rams use Akers, whose rookie contract runs through 2023, going forward.

Rams Pursued OLB, OL, RB Help; Team Was Not In On Cooks, Hunt At Deadline

The Rams’ success after in-season trades for Jalen Ramsey and Von Miller likely impacted other teams’ plans at this year’s deadline, but the defending Super Bowl champions sat out this year’s final stretch of trading. This was not due to roster contentment or lack of trying, however.

The 3-4 team is believed to have made a monster offer for Brian Burns and lost out to the 49ers for Christian McCaffrey, with a San Francisco fourth-round pick potentially being the difference for Carolina. But the Rams also pursued offensive line and wide receiver aid at this year’s deadline, according to Jourdan Rodrigue of The Athletic (subscription required).

Los Angeles has seen its offense crater this season. No Sean McVay-led Rams team has finished outside the top 11 in total offense; this year’s iteration ranks 30th. Injuries at almost every offensive line position, to starters and backups, have limited the Rams considerably. Allen Robinson not following the likes of Brandin Cooks or Odell Beckham Jr. as quick studies in McVay’s attack has also affected the Rams, who rank 28th in scoring. The team opted not to swing a deal before Tuesday’s deadline, however.

Although the Browns discussed Kareem Hunt before the deadline, Rodrigue notes the Rams were not a serious suitor. The Eagles were believed to be the team that would have landed Hunt, if the Browns were legitimately interested in moving him. Shortly after a Monday-night blowout of the Bengals, the Browns seemed to back off on this front. Hunt is now set to play out his Cleveland contract ahead of free agency.

McVay has attempted a few backfield solutions this season, but none has done much to help the reigning champs’ cause. The Rams rank 31st in rushing and have not seen Cam Akers (three yards per carry) return to the form he showed before his July 2021 Achilles tear. They have seen left tackle Joe Noteboom, third-round rookie guard Logan Bruss and backup guard Tremayne Anchrum suffer season-ending injuries. The team has also played extensively without center Brian Allen, who has since returned, and left guard David Edwards (who has not). Right guard Coleman Shelton also remains on IR.

Akers, who said this week he did not request a trade, became a trade chip for the Rams. But they could not reach an agreement to unload the third-year back. Akers returned to practice this week and is not on L.A.’s injury report, clearing a path to an unexpected return to the Rams’ offense.

Additionally, the Rams were mentioned as interested in a Cooks reunion. They did pursue this, per Rodrigue, but were not in the running for the oft-traded wideout in the days leading up to the deadline. The Texans made it clear they were not planning to eat any of Cooks’ $18MM 2023 guarantee. This and an asking price of second- and fourth-round picks — more than they gave up to acquire Cooks from the Rams in 2020 — cooled down the market. Cooks, who is tied to a two-year deal worth $39MM he signed in April, is planning to rejoin the Texans after a trade-related dispute led to his missing their Thursday game.

The Rams have made big moves at the deadline under McVay. Their Dante Fowler acquisition in 2018 helped that edition to Super Bowl LIII. Ramsey and Austin Corbett (2019) made big differences in the 2020 and ’21 teams advancing in the playoffs, and Miller significantly moved the needle last season. The Rams have not replaced Miller, whom they aggressively attempted to retain in free agency, leading to the Burns pursuit.

The Rams did “everything they could” to try and land Burns, a GM informed the Washington Post’s Jason La Canfora. It is somewhat surprising the Panthers would turn down an offer of two first-round picks for a one-time Pro Bowler who has yet to post his first 10-sack season, the Rams would have needed to include 2024 and 2025 first-rounders. GM Scott Fitterer, who was hired during the Matt Rhule period, may not have been too keen on not picking up a prime 2023 asset in the deal. Reports of L.A.’s Burns offer being rebuffed will only bolster the fourth-year Carolina edge rusher’s extension value, when that time comes.

After seeing their Burns push fail, the Rams have not been mentioned as being involved in the Bradley Chubb sweepstakes. While they may well have been one of the 10-plus teams to call the Broncos on the then-contract-year pass rusher, the Dolphins including a first-round pick would have given the Rams — who again are without their 2023 first-rounder — an uphill battle.

Barring a long-rumored Beckham reunion, the Rams will attempt to defend their NFC West title without a splashy addition. They will enter their post-deadline stretch 1.5 games behind the surprising Seahawks.

NFC West Rumors: 49ers, Akers, Reddick, Ward

The 49ers capitalized at the trade deadline Tuesday, acquiring a fifth-round pick in exchange for running back Jeff Wilson. When the offer came in from Dolphins general manager Chris Grier, it was an easy decision for 49ers general manager John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan to make, as they had already agreed on the lowest possible compensation they would take for Wilson, according to Jennifer Lee Chan of NBC Sports.

Wilson was strategically available in this fashion due to the 49ers’ recent acquisition of former Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey“You can only keep so many, just from a roster approach,” Lynch told the media. “We knew when we made the Christian move, someone was going to have to go, and, ultimately, Jeff’s the one.”

San Francisco will move forward with McCaffrey, Elijah Mitchell (currently on injured reserve), rookie third-round pick Tyrion Davis-Price, and undrafted rookie Jordan Mason. In Miami, Wilson will reunite with backfield-mate Raheem Mostert and head coach Mike McDaniel. He’ll also compete for snaps with Salvon Ahmed and Myles Gaskin.

Here are a few more rumors from around the NFC West, starting with some insight in LA:

  • After lots of talk around trading running back Cam Akers, the Rams retained the 23-year-old back, allowing him to return to the team. Akers has insisted on multiple occasions that “he didn’t know why he was asked to leave the team,” according to Sarah Barshop of ESPN. He spoke in the locker room and told Jourdan Rodrigue of The Athletic that “at no point did he ask the Rams for a trade or release.” Regardless, he reported that a conversation he had with head coach Sean McVay yesterday was good for both parties and that Akers and his teammates are glad to have him back around the team.
  • After three average years in the Cardinals‘ defense, linebacker Haason Reddick made a request that would save his career, according to Zach Berman of The Athletic. Underachieving as an inside linebacker led Arizona to decline the former first-round pick’s fifth-year option. In an act of desperation, Reddick suggested to his coaches that he revert back to the pass rushing position he excelled at in college, taking advantage of the team’s star pass rusher, Chandler Jones, going to IR. He had been considered too small to succeed at the NFL level as a pass rusher, but the circumstances left Arizona with little choice. Reddick would finish the year with 12.5 sacks, leading to the resurgence of his young career.
  • It took a while for 49ers veteran defensive back Jimmie Ward to find success in the NFL. For three years, San Francisco tried to force Ward into a nickelback role before eventually settling him into success at free safety. Now, at 31-years-old, Ward has been asked to return to a nickel cornerback role, according to Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle. After playing only one snap in the first six games of the season due to a hamstring injury and a broken hand, Ward lost his starting job to Tashaun Gipson, who has simply played well in Ward’s absence. Now, with Gipson firmly at free safety and Ward coming back from injury with a club cast, Ward’s role comes at nickel corner. He’s accepted the circumstances and his new role moving forward with the team.

Rams Rejected Cam Akers Trade Offers, Working On Solution With RB

A disagreement between Cam Akers and the Rams led to the running back’s inclusion in multiple trade offers to the Panthers — for Christian McCaffrey and Brian Burns. Carolina passed on both proposals, but they were not the only offers including Akers to come in before Tuesday’s deadline.

The Rams passed on multiple offers for Akers, according to Tom Pelissero of, who adds the team is working with the third-year running back on a solution that would allow him to remain in Los Angeles this season (Twitter link). This report runs counter to a Tuesday offering that noted the Rams were not gaining much traction with an Akers trade.

This impasse initially was believed to lead Akers out of town; Sean McVay called a trade likely two weeks ago. The Rams included Akers in a McCaffrey proposal that also included two Day 2 picks and they included him as a throw-in in a Brian Burns offer headlined by 2024 and 2025 first-rounders.

The trade deadline passing limits the former second-rounder’s options. The ice seemed to be thinning here recently as well, with a report indicating Akers would be back with the Rams barring a trade. This would at least pause one of the more unusual player-team disagreements to crop up in recent years.

Akers has not recaptured the form he displayed before his July 2021 Achilles tear. Although Akers made a quicker-than-expected recovery that allowed him to play in each of the Rams’ four playoff games last season, his yards-per-carry numbers were well off his 2020 work. The Rams turned to Akers as their primary back for most of this season as well, but he is sitting on 3.0 yards per tote. Akers’ football-related dispute with the Rams has been ongoing since Week 6, when the team deactivated him after excused practice absences.

Los Angeles’ McCaffrey pursuit revealed a desire to upgrade at running back, and the team minimized Darrell Henderson‘s role in its Week 8 loss to the 49ers. Malcolm Brown and rookie UDFA Ronnie Rivers saw more time against the 49ers; Henderson received just four carries in the game. Akers returning would seemingly help the Rams, though unless he can more closely resemble his rookie-year version, the needle may not move much here.

Trade Rumors: Broncos, Cooks, Akers, Hunt, Cowboys, Lions, 49ers

Brandin Cooks is available, and Dan Graziano of notes (via Twitter) the Texans are in discussions involving the ninth-year receiver. But Cooks’ $18MM guaranteed 2023 salary — which came to pass after Houston re-signed him on a two-year, $39MM pact in April — has proven to be an impediment here. Teams are not moving on Cooks unless the Texans pick up a chunk of that salary. Cooks, 29, was linked to giving up some guaranteed money to facilitate a trade back to the Rams. But it is unlikely he will give up too much cash to be moved. The Giants and Vikings have also been connected to the thrice-traded Cooks. For what it’s worth, Cooks was not at Texans practice Tuesday. Personal reasons — not an imminent trade — are believed to be behind Cooks’ absence,’s Garafolo tweets.

With the deadline in less than three hours, here is the latest from the trade front:

  • The Broncos have told teams they are not conducting a fire sale,’s Albert Breer notes. A Bradley Chubb trade still could commence, but’s Mike Garafolo hears (video link) the team is holding out for a better offer. Denver has been linked to not only wanting a first-round pick for Chubb but two firsts. With the latter price range unlikely to take shape, the Broncos figure to be put to a major decision today. Jerry Jeudy remains unlikely to be moved, per Garafolo.
  • No Cam Akers trade is imminent, Josina Anderson of CBS Sports tweets. The Rams have been looking for a trade partner to unload their 2020 second-round pick. This situation may not be as icy as previously believed, however. Akers was once rumored to be done with the Rams, but he is now prepared to return to the team if no trade occurs this afternoon.
  • Prior to acquiring James Robinson from the Jaguars, the Jets looked into Kareem Hunt, Breer notes. The Browns have dangled Hunt for the price of a fourth-round pick, but the former rushing champion may now be set to stay in Cleveland for at least this season’s remainder. Hunt, 27, should be expected to hit free agency if no trade goes down today.
  • The Lions may not be done dealing. After sending T.J. Hockenson to the Vikings, the rebuilding NFC North squad has informed teams it remains open for business. Defensive back is one of the areas in which Detroit is willing to deal, CBS Sports’ Jonathan Jones tweets. Contract-year cornerback Amani Oruwariye would appear to be one name available. While Jeff Okudah arrived before the Brad Holmes regime took over, it would still be surprising if Detroit moved on from the former No. 3 overall pick.
  • In addition to making defensive end Tarell Basham available, the Cowboys are open to moving defensive tackle Trysten Hill, Breer adds. Dallas has not seen the former second-round pick develop into a starter but has used him as a part-time player throughout this season. The team just added Johnathan Hankins via trade and has rookie-contract performers Osa Odighizuwa and Quinton Bohanna ahead of Hill. Basham has only played in one game this season (Week 1) and remains on IR. The Cowboys designated the former third-round edge rusher for return late last month, however.
  • The 49ers have already made their big trade splash, sending four picks to the Panthers for Christian McCaffrey. Kyle Shanahan said (via Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area) the phone lines are always open, but the team does not expect to make another move.

Rams Offered Two First-Round Picks For Panthers’ Brian Burns

After the Panthers fired head coach Matt Rhule, and especially after they traded away Christian McCaffrey, speculation has continued to swirl with respect to the Panthers’ other franchise players. At the top of that list is Brian Burns, whom the rebuilding team has held on to despite at least one substantial offer for the emerging pass rusher.

It was reported last week that Carolina received an offer of two first-round picks for Burns, as teams look to take advantage of the Panthers’ sell-off, and, more generally, the 2022 edge rush market. It was not known at the time which team submitted that sizeable proposal, but it has since been reported by SI’s Albert Breer that the Rams made a “substantial offer” for Burns.

ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler tweets that it is believed the defending Super Bowl champions were indeed the ones who put a pair of Day 1 selections on the table. That would fall in line with general manager Les Snead‘s well-known stance on draft picks, and, as Fowler notes, give the team a Von Miller replacement. Los Angeles sent second- and third-round picks to the Broncos for the latter last year, a move which helped earn the team the Lombardi Trophy.

Burns, 24, would certainly represent another major investment at the position, one with longer-term implications given his age. The Panthers have been very clear, however, that the Florida State product is one of a handful of franchise cornerstones who are highly unlikely to be moved. That, along with the fact that the Rams don’t own their 2023 first-rounder, would explain their reluctance to execute even a deal which would have greatly boosted their draft capital.

Fowler also notes that the Rams included maligned running back Cam Akers in their negotiations with Carolina. Akers has struggled to regain his form after last year’s Achilles tear, and his relationship with head coach Sean McVay has reached the point where both sides are eyeing a change of scenery.

With the door seemingly closed to Los Angeles being able to acquire Burns, their attention will presumably turn even more towards Broncos pass rusher Bradley Chubb. He heads the list of edge rushers believed to be available, and the Rams are among the teams thought to be most active in their pursuit of help at the position. In the coming hours, it will be revealed if they are successful in that endeavor.

Cam Akers To Return To Rams Barring Trade

Cam Akers has gone from the Rams’ top running back to one the team is actively looking to trade away in a surprisingly short period of time. If he does not find himself being moved by Tuesday’s deadline, though, Akers is expected to return to the team, reports ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

[RELATED: Rams Included Akers In McCaffrey Trade Offer]

The 23-year-old was inactive in Week 6, as a result of reported football-related and philosophical differences between he and head coach Sean McVay. Very quickly, it became evident that Akers’ tenure with the Rams may very well have come to an end.

Just under two weeks ago, McVay confirmed that the Rams are looking to find a trade partner for the Florida State product. Akers was limited to five total games last season due to an Achilles tear. He was expected to take on workhorse duties after a spring and summer of recovery, but he has averaged just 3.0 yards per carry this season, scoring one touchdown along the way – figures which no doubt limit his trade value.

Personal reasons have once again been listed as the cause for Akers’ absence today against the 49ers, per Ian Rapoport, Tom Pelissero and Mike Garafolo of NFL Network. As they and Schefter note, though, the team remains open to the possibility that a trade is not finalized in the next two days, and thus that Akers would again have some role to play in the backfield.

Still, a deal sending him away would take place “in a perfect world,” per Schefter. Unfortunately for both sides, the NFL Network report indicates that interest from around the league has not reached the point where a trade is imminent. Darrell Henderson will remain the lead back for the Rams after they finished as the runners-up in trading for Christian McCaffrey.

When they take on the latter this afternoon, Los Angeles will look to improve on their 31st-ranked running game. How much of a role (if any) Akers will play in doing so starting next week will be worth watching over the next 48 hours.

Rams Included Cam Akers In Christian McCaffrey Proposal; Broncos, Eagles Made Offers

It took four picks for the 49ers to pry Christian McCaffrey from the Panthers. No strangers to exiting trade or free agency sweepstakes with wins, the Rams made a similar offer. It came down to a Day 3 pick for San Francisco’s proposal to win out.

The Rams offered the Panthers second- and third-round 2023 picks, along with fourth- and fifth-rounders in 2024, Albert Breer of reports. The defending Super Bowl champions also included Cam Akers in their proposal, Breer adds, but the Panthers went with the 49ers’ offer because it included a fourth-rounder in 2023 as opposed to 2024.

Last year’s Sony Michel trade stripped the Rams of their 2023 fourth-rounder; the team sent the Patriots fourth- and sixth-round picks for Michel. The Rams have their first-, second- and third-round picks in 2024, for now, but are not believed to have included any of those choices in their McCaffrey proposal. The value of the 2023 selections will come down to how the NFC West teams finish this season, but the Panthers still viewed the 49ers’ offer as more attractive.

[RELATED: Bills Did Not Make Offer For McCaffrey]

Los Angeles is still trying to move Akers, who could be a chip for the teams that missed out on McCaffrey. However, one of the teams involved in the sweepstakes moved on with a cheaper solution. The Broncos signed Marlon Mack on Monday morning, doing so in the wake of losing Mike Boone suffering an ankle injury against the Jets. Denver adding McCaffrey at this point, amid an October freefall, would have made less sense than the All-Pro back going to a 2022 contender.

Mentioned as a McCaffrey suitor, the Broncos joined the Eagles in making noncompetitive offers, Breer adds. Both teams are believed to have made offers involving third- or fourth-round picks to see if the Panthers were keen on taking a discount to move the high-priced running back. Considering what the Rams and 49ers proposed, the Broncos and Eagles’ efforts were nonstarters for the Panthers.

Midway through last season, the Eagles pivoted to a run-based attack around Jalen Hurts. The team has Miles Sanders atop its backfield depth chart, but the former second-round pick is in a contract year. Ditto Boston Scott. Kenneth Gainwell and Trey Sermon are each signed through 2024, though neither is obviously close to McCaffrey’s level. McCaffrey would have been an interesting piece for Philly, given his passing-game prowess. The Eagles’ offense has not involved much usage for backs through the air; Sanders leads Philly’s backs with 11 catches for 42 yards this season. And it does not sound like the Eagles, who have been in many trade derbies under Howie Roseman, were too interested here.

The first team to call the Panthers on McCaffrey, the 49ers put the trade prize to work quickly. McCaffrey received 10 touches Sunday against the Chiefs, despite not going through a full practice with his new team yet. Rather than add Akers as a CMC replacement, the Panthers turned to backups D’Onta Foreman and Chuba Hubbard in Week 7. The duo combined for a staggering 208 scrimmage yards against the Buccaneers on Sunday. Foreman is on an expiring contract; Hubbard’s rookie deal runs through 2024.

McVay: Rams Likely To Move Cam Akers

The Rams’ Cam Akers drama escalated quickly, and the team is preparing to end it with a separation. The defending Super Bowl champions are exploring a move that will give the third-year running back a fresh start elsewhere, Sean McVay said Monday.

An unspecified issue emerged between Akers and the Rams late last week, leading to the team’s starting running back being a healthy scratch in Week 6. Akers, 23, is believed to have a football-related issue with the Rams, and McVay said (via’s Sarah Barshop, on Twitter).there will “probably” be a transaction made that allows Akers to land with another team soon.

That said, McVay stopped short of guaranteeing the former second-round pick will depart, Eric Williams of Fox Sports notes (via Twitter). But the team is already engaging in exploratory conversations about dealing Akers.

The Florida State product missed two practices late last week for personal reasons, per the Rams, and it later came out on-field matters have divided these parties. Akers’ rookie contract runs through 2023. Philosophical differences are believed to have split McVay and Akers, who has not returned to his pre-Achilles-tear form. The Rams asked Akers not to show for practice Thursday and Friday, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk notes.

Akers suffered the tear early during Los Angeles’ 2021 training camp and made a quicker-than-expected comeback, allowing for postseason contributions. Those contributions proved minimal, however, and Akers (3.0 yards per carry, albeit behind a battered Rams offensive line) has not shown much during his third season. This obviously stands to dent his trade value, though Ian Rapoport of notes (video link) trade interest has surfaced already.

As a rookie, however, Akers amassed 625 yards on 143 carries. He then logged 28 totes for 131 yards and a touchdown in the Rams’ wild-card win over the Seahawks. Akers was tracking to be L.A.’s starter to open last season, but his injury prompted the Rams to go with Darrell Henderson and trade acquisition Sony Michel. Akers’ return late last year preceded the Rams letting Michel walk in free agency. Henderson, who is in a contract year, will reside as the team’s top back. Akers still started ahead of the former third-round pick for most of this season, and this strange halt to his Rams career certainly proves interesting.