The Van Jefferson era may soon be over for the Los Angeles Rams and it lasted almost exactly as long as the Cam Akers era. ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reports on Tuesday that the Rams are “looking into trading” Jefferson and that they’ve been in contact with his agent. Jefferson is seeing it as a mutually beneficial parting of the ways, according to Fowler.
And why wouldn’t he? Jefferson played two snaps in Week 5 after the return of Cooper Kupp.
#Rams are looking into trading wide receiver Van Jefferson, per source. L.A. has been in contact with Jefferson’s agent, with the player open to a new home.— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) October 10, 2023
Jefferson was a big part of the Rams’ 2021 Super Bowl run but hasn’t been featured this year and played 2 snaps Sunday. pic.twitter.com/RC6fQHQLzl
The Rams selected Jefferson and Akers in the second round of the 2020 draft. The team failed in their attempt to trade Akers last year but found him a home with the Minnesota Vikings between Week 1 and 2. Now it is Jefferson that L.A. is openly announcing is on the trade block.
It’s a wonder why it took this long.
Jefferson had 19 catches for 220 yards as a rookie, then had his best season in 2021 with 50 catches for 802 yards and six touchdowns. But 2021’s Super Bowl run was as much evidence as any that Jefferson wasn’t long for the Rams offense: When the team really needed a receiver to step up due to injuries, Jefferson’s numbers were flat (102 yards in four playoff games) and last season he had just 24 catches for 369 yards, most of those opportunities coming after Kupp and Allen Robinson went to IR.
Jefferson has been targeted just 15 times this year, catching eight passes for 108 yards and no touchdowns.
One team that has already been rumored to need a receiver for weeks is the Carolina Panthers. But the Vikings, coincidentally, just put Justin Jefferson on IR. Could Jefferson be reunited with Akers?