The Los Angeles Rams have acquired running back Sony Michel from the New England Patriots in exchange for a 2020 third-round pick.
The sony michel is a running back for the New England Patriots. On Thursday, the Los Angeles Rams acquired him from the Patriots.
7:00 a.m. ET
ESPN’s Lindsey Thiry
- For the Los Angeles Times, I covered the Rams for two years.
- Previously, I wrote about the Falcons.
- Has written about the NBA, as well as college football and basketball.
THOUSAND OAKS, CALIFORNIA – The Los Angeles Rams have acquired Sony Michel from the New England Patriots in order to bolster their running back depth.
The Rams announced the trade Wednesday morning, and New England got two conditional draft choices, one in the fifth round and the other in the sixth.
Michel addresses an urgent need for the Rams, who will be missing emerging star Cam Akers for the whole season after tearing his right Achilles tendon working out before training camp.
Darrell Henderson Jr. has taken over as starter in Akers’ absence, but the Rams lack depth behind the third-year veteran.
Throughout the preseason, second-year pro Xavier Jones, an undrafted free agent in 2020, and rookie seventh-round selection Jake Funk battled to show they could fill the role.
Coach Sean McVay said at the start of training camp that the Rams would give their young backs enough chance to fight for the position, but that the club might seek for outside assistance as the season neared.
When asked this week whether Jones and Funk had shown enough in two preseason games to be ready for Week 1 against the Chicago Bears on Sept. 12, McVay indicated the Rams were still figuring it out.
McVay replied, “We’ve got a little bit of time.” “Darrell is a well-known figure who has accomplished a lot. However, I was delighted with both of those gentlemen.”
Henderson sustained a minor thumb injury in practice on Monday, but returned the next day with a cast or brace to protect his left hand.
Michel, a fourth-year pro, has 2,292 yards and 14 touchdowns in 28 games for the Patriots, who selected him with the 31st selection in the first round in 2018.
Michel ran for 94 yards and a score on 18 attempts in a 13-3 win against the Rams in Super Bowl LIII.
After opting not to activate Michel’s fifth-year option for 2022, the Patriots will pay him a basic salary of $1.79 million in the last year of his contract in 2021. Ivan Fears, the Patriots’ running back coach, praised him during the preseason, stating he had “upped his total game.”
“I’ve always loved him as a runner, but now he’s showed us that he can also be extremely successful in the passing game,” Fears said. “He’s had a fantastic camp experience.”
Michel missed six games last season after being put on injured reserve following Week 3 due to a quadriceps ailment. He ran for 449 yards and a score on 79 attempts in nine games. Michel ran for 22 yards on seven attempts in a 24-3 defeat against the Rams.
The Patriots have a surplus of six running backs at training camp, including third-year pro Damien Harris, who replaced Michel as the starter last season, and veteran James White.
With Harris, Michel, White, fourth-round pick Rhamondre Stevenson, spark plug J.J. Taylor, and veteran core special teams player Brandon Bolden on the depth chart, the Patriots’ surplus at running back has been a hot topic at camp, with the likelihood that the team would keep no more than five players at the position.
Coach Bill Belichick stated last week, “They’ve all been given chances and have performed well. We all bring out the best in each other when we compete. It’s a fantastic circumstance.”
Mike Reiss of ESPN contributed to this story.
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