Sony Michel Says He Had No Idea Patriots Were Planning to Trade Him to RamsAugust 26, 2021
The New England Patriots traded veteran running back Sony Michel to the Los Angeles Rams on Wednesday in exchange for a fifth- and sixth-round pick in the 2022 draft.
On Thursday, Michel told reporters the deal caught him by surprise:
The trade made sense for both teams. The Patriots have a crowded running back room led by James White, Damien Harris, J.J. Taylor, Rhamondre Stevenson and Brandon Bolden.
The Rams, meanwhile, will be without Cam Akers for the entirety of the season because of an Achilles injury. Michel gave them depth behind Darrell Henderson Jr., who figures to have a major role:
Michel, 26, started his NFL career well, rushing for over 900 yards in each of his first two seasons and tallying 13 touchdowns in that time.
But a quadriceps injury limited him to just nine games (six starts) in his third season last year, and he rushed for just 449 yards and a score. With Harris and White atop the depth chart, Michel became expendable.
But his downhill running style should complement Henderson's ability to get outside the tackles. And it should allow the Rams to keep both players fresh through a 17-game regular season.
"What he does bring is this element of make a cut, get north and south and get north and south with some force," general manager Les Snead told reporters of Michel. "The physics that he brings to the table—let's call it a flavor or genre that we felt like complemented our group."
In their first post-Todd Gurley year in 2020, the Rams utilized a committee approach with their backfield. Expect that to continue.