Rams Losing Key Weapon to Ex-Division Rival Coach: Report

Sony Michel

Getty Sony Michel on November 28, 2021 in Green Bay.

Sony Michel has ended his stay inside the “Rams House.”

And the two-time Super Bowl winner — who came to the Los Angeles Rams during a time when the backfield needed an extra spark to a unit decimated by injuries — is also returning to the AFC East. But, he’ll play for a coach who used to game plan against the Rams.

Where Michel is Heading

Per the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport at 4:45 p.m. PT on Monday, May 9, Michel is heading to the Miami Dolphins.

His signing ends a near one-year stay in L.A. Michel got added via trade from the New England Patriots during 2021 training camp following the Rams losing Cam Akers to an Achilles injury before the Rams reported to Irvine for July camp.

Michel started in seven Rams contests and appeared in all 17 games. He ends his truncated Rams tenure by producing 845 yards (his third-best total of his five season career per Pro Football Reference) and scoring five total touchdowns (four rushing). Michel produced two 100-yard games in his only season in L.A.: The 121-yard game versus the Jacksonville Jaguars won by the Rams 37-7 on December 5 and the 131-yard day 21 days later in the 30-23 road win over the Minnesota Vikings that clinched a playoff berth for the Rams.

The Dolphins were among the teams the free agent Michel visited after the NFL Draft, with the New Orleans Saints being the other. He’s going inside a deep and revamped Dolphins’ backfield.

The Coach Michel Will Suit up For

New Miami head coach Mike McDaniel once was in a room with Kyle Shanahan and his San Francisco 49ers coaching staff game planning against the Rams.

Now, McDaniel is continuing to construct his roster post draft and with May minicamps on the horizon. McDaniel is anticipated to bring in a similar zone read offense that produced stout running attacks for Shanahan and the 49ers — an attack that produced 156 and 135 ground-based yards in the regular season sweep of the Rams before getting bottled to 50 yards in the NFC title game. McDaniel already has a deeper backfield to work with down in South Beach, as noted by Rapoport.

“The former New England first-rounder and Rams RB is another fascinating weapon heading to the Dolphins in an offense that has proven to showcase backs. Sony Michel hopes to become the latest,” Rapoport tweeted.

Here’s who else Michel will soon share backfield duties with:

Raheem Mostert: Like McDaniel, he’s another past NFC West rival of Michel and the Rams. Mostert signed with the Dolphins for one-year, $2,125,000 per Spotrac.

Chase Edmonds: Staying with the theme of rivals turned teammates, Edmonds comes to McDaniel and the ‘Fins from the Arizona Cardinals. Edmonds helped hand Michel and the Rams their first loss of the 2021 season by rushing for 120 yards on 12 carries in the Week 4 road win. However, Edmonds struggled with 28 yards in the 34-11 playoff romp in the wildcard round. Edmonds signed a $12.1 million deal to join McDaniel’s backfield.

Myles Gaskin: The veteran returner of the previous Dolphins’ backfield. Gaskin combined for seven touchdowns and 846 yards from scrimmage in 17 games and 10 starts last season.

It’s a suddenly deeper unit behind Tua Tagovailoa in the 305. But the third-year quarterback and McDaniel will most likely embrace this aspect of Michel’s game that he showed in front of Ram fans:

Plus this pancake maker he delivered:

Meanwhile, the Rams backfield is now consisting of a healthier Akers, Darrell Henderson, Jake Funk and newly added Kyren Williams through the fifth round of the draft.

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