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Could Rams make trade for Kareem Hunt or Josh Jacobs?

Both running backs are rumored to be on the move

Cleveland Browns Training Camp Photo by Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images

If you say that a notable player is on the trade block, you can guarantee that Les Snead at least heard your call. In fact, it was only a year ago that the L.A. Rams made a phone call to acquire Sony Michel from the New England Patriots.

Would Snead do the same for a better running back? Because at least two could be on the trade block.

ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio wrote on Sunday that the Las Vegas Raiders made an interesting decision to play starting running back Josh Jacobs in their preseason opening game last week. No other starters saw the field and new head coach Josh McDaniels (formerly Michel’s offensive coordinator in New England) may not have a role for Jacobs like Jon Gruden did.

Reports have been positive on Kenyan Drake out of training camp and fourth round rookie Zamir White had a “breakout performance” in the preseason contest.

Jacobs has a guaranteed $2.2 million salary and the team declined his fifth-year option, making him a free agent in 2023. Michel was in the same situation a year ago.

But while the Raiders are denying that they want to trade Jacobs, the Cleveland Browns are reportedly denying Kareem Hunt’s trade request. For now. Hunt is reportedly not happy with his contract (he’s entering the final year of a deal that pays him $1.35 million in salary and $3.4 million in per game roster bonuses) and won’t participate again until he’s extended.

Hunt, who led the NFL in rushing yards as a rookie in 2017 with 1,327, has spent the last three years as Nick Chubb’s backup. That has kept him relatively fresh: Hunt has 319 carries for 1,406 yards in 32 games with the Browns.

He could be one of the most dynamic starters at running back in the NFL, if given an opportunity to start.

Of course, the Rams do have a starting running back already. But we have yet to see if Cam Akers will ever fully recover from the Achilles injury he suffered last summer. We only know that Akers was able to miraculously return by January, but the run game struggled en route to L.A.’s Super Bowl victory.

Jacobs had 217 carries for 872 yards and nine touchdowns with the Raiders last season, also catching 54 passes for 348 yards. He averaged 4.0 yards per carry but doesn’t seem like he’s going to be in McDaniels’ plans.

Hunt only played in eight games, carrying the ball 78 times for 386 yards and five touchdowns, averaging 4.9 YPC and catching 22 passes for 174 yards.

The Rams already traded their 2023 first round pick to the Lions, but nobody would trade a first round pick for either of these running backs unless they were the Colts and the player was Trent Richardson. L.A. also already dealt their 2023 fourth round pick to acquire Michel. The Rams do have an extra 2024 sixth round pick because of the Kenny Young trade and Snead could potentially dip into that pool for acquire additional help for this season.

Darrell Henderson is set to complement Akers, but Kyren Williams has spent all of camp on PUP and the depth behind the top two options is thin.