LA Rams FA RB Sony Michel signs 2022 contract with Dolphins

Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /

The LA Rams were in a bit of peril as the start of the 2021 NFL season approached. The team was without feature running back Cam Akers (lost to an Achilles Tendon injury), so the team was already trying to circle the wagons. Then, backup running back Xavier Jones fell and was lost for the season (lost to an Achilles Tendon injury). Then running back Raymond Calais was lost for the season (foot injury).

When the LA Rams announced trading a package of two picks to the New England Patriots for RB Sony Michel, there was some disbelief. In fact, there were a number of arguments against the trade which we addressed at the time of the trade.  In the end, the LA Rams traded a 2022 sixth-round pick and a 2023 fourth-round pick to the New England Patriots for the final year of RB Sony Michel.

Now? Sony Michel is signing on with the Miami Dolphins. He will take over for the between the tackles role vacated by seldom-used RB Malcolm Brown, just as he did in the LA Rams offense in 2021.

The Dolphins are a team that has historically depended upon a strong running game to power their offensive success. That has meant relying upon a power back who can advance the football between the tackles, and augmenting that type of dependable contribution with other rushers who may deliver a more electric performance as a change of pace.

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The Dolphins hoped to find that power-back rusher in 2021 by signing on Rams FA running back Malcolm Brown. But Brown only carried the football 33 times in just seven games for 125 yards and one touchdown.

To many Rams fans, Michel was a player who they hoped would eventually re-sign with the team. Michel is now the ninth free agent from the 2021 NFL Rams roster who has signed on with another team.

While this ends all speculation of the Rams re-signing Michel for the 2022 season, those seeds were already planted in the Rams playoffs. As soon as RB Cam Akers was deemed healthy enough to play, the Rams immediately pivoted from Sony Michel to Akers, despite Michel’s success at carrying the football.

Further evidence that the Rams were moving on from Michel appeared when the team drafted RB Kyren Williams, a rusher who specializes in running between the tackles, with their 164th over pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. Sony Michel is now a Miami Dolphin. But he earned a Super Bowl LVI ring with the LA Rams. And despite the fact that is was playing just one season, he earned it.

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