Patriots are trading RB Sony Michel to the Los Angeles Rams in exchange for two late-round conditional draft picks, per sources.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 25, 2021
New England gets back two picks, the Rams get needed talent and depth at running back.
The Patriots’ return compensation for the trade is a bit unique. Currently, LA is slated to send fifth and sixth round draft picks to New England; however, if the Rams are awarded a fourth round compensatory selection (which they are currently expected to after safety John Johnson signed with the Cleveland Browns in free agency) this pick would be sent in place of the aforementioned two picks.
Compensation update: It’s a 5th rounder and 6th rounder this year that converts to a 4th rounder when/if the #Rams get a 4th round comp pick. Complicated, but essentially Sony Michel for a 4th round pick. Solid value. https://t.co/eWVzq9bcaT— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 25, 2021
The Rams’ stable of running backs prior to the trade was full of change-of-pace style of runners, considering Darrell Henderson was originally supposed to be the complement to injured workhorse Cam Akers. Michel is more of a traditional-style, grinding runner who can carry the ball inside the tackles and excel in short yardage or goal line situations. Michel also joins young players Jake Funk and Xavier Jones, who are both able to contribute in the passing game and special teams.
The need to acquire a running back was apparent after injuries to Akers and speedy return specialist Raymond Calais; however, Michel doesn’t exactly have a clean history in regard to injuries either. It is possible the Rams’ new running back will need workload management at times this season, but Los Angeles already does an exemplary job of managing veterans such as Andrew Whitworth, Aaron Donald, and others.
The 2021 season will be the former first rounder’s fourth season. This trade could represent a one year rental for the Rams, as New England declined Michel’s fifth-year option earlier this year and Michel is scheduled to become a free agent at season’s end.
Los Angeles will open the season on Sunday Night Football at Sofi Stadium against the Chicago Bears on September 12th, so Michel will have around two and a half weeks in order to acclimate to his new team.