One year rental
Perhaps the most overlooked yet vital aspect of adding running back Sony Michel is the fact that he is in the last year of his rookie NFL contract. Huh? Yes, that means that the LA Rams have in fact traded a fourth-round draft pick for a one-year rental. Why would the LA Rams be willing to do that?
Well, let’s start by pivoting back to injured running back Cam Akers. Akers injured his Achilles Tendon, an injury that can take up to a year to heal. In spite of the bleak outlook, the Rams continue to cling to the faint belief that Akers may recover and be ready to play, if not season’s end, then perhaps by the time the NFL Playoffs arrive. Adding any reinforcements to the running back troops at this time could be construed as the Rams throwing in the towel on Akers. With Michel on the last year of his contract? The Rams confirm that they have a place reserved for Akers’ return.
But that also triggers another Snead-like quality of Michel’s addition. Sony Michel has been a solid, if not remarkable, performer in the NFL in his career. Still, if he has a great season for the LA Rams in the last year of his deal, he could attract some interest, and perhaps some money, in a multi-year contract in free agency.
While it’s highly unlikely that he will get the type of offer that will place the LA Rams into consideration to be awarded either a third or fourth-round 2023 NFL Draft pick, he could manage to get to the fifth or sixth-round contract plateaus. In essence, while the Rams have placed a solid fourth into the coffers of the Patriots, there could be an offset draft pick in their future. Sony Michel, in his contract year, will certainly be all for that as he will benefit most with a huge new contract.
After a first dive review, this deal has all of the major components of LA Rams Les Snead. An undervalued player with elite potential. A commitment of draft picks. The chance to get a return of a compensatory pick after the player tests free agency. But perhaps the fact that everyone knew the Rams would do something, but few expected trade is the most Snead-like move of all.