Sony Michel was the odd man out in the New England Patriots' deep running back room. That couldn't have worked out much better for the Los Angeles Rams.
L.A. lost starting running back Cam Akers for the year with a torn ACL earlier in the offseason. Darrell Henderson became the RB1 as a result of the injury, but a clear lack of depth at the position needed to be addressed.
On Wednesday, the Rams acquired Michel from the Patriots for 2022 conditional fifth- and sixth-round draft picks. While the 2018 Super Bowl champion isn't expected to be the feature back for L.A.'s offense, he'll have an important role.
"That's going to be a complementary backfield," Rams general manager Les Snead told reporters Wednesday, per CBS Sports. "What he does bring is this element of make a cut, get north and south and get north and south with some force. The physics that he brings to the table – let's call it a flavor of genre that we felt like complemented our group."
Michel didn't exactly live up to his first-round selection during his Patriots tenure, though he did produce when it mattered most. The 26-year-old dominated during New England's 2018 postseason run and scored the only touchdown of Super Bowl 53, coincidentally against the Rams.
Those playoff appearances played a major factor in Los Angeles' decision to trade for Michel.
"We identified Sony for many reasons," Snead said. "Number one, being his experience – and experience, meaning like a player who has carried the ball in big games and in those big games, where there have been big moments, big drives, big series – is the experience of where he played, how he was coached"
Michel missed seven games last season due to a quad injury. In the nine games he played, he rushed 79 times for 449 yards and one touchdown. He also caught seven passes for 114 yards and a TD.
There's no doubt Michel will have more of an opportunity to shine in the Rams offense than he would have had in New England. Damien Harris is expected to be the Patriots' bell-cow with James White assuming his usual role as a receiving back. J.J. Taylor and rookie Rhamondre Stevenson also likely will be in the mix.