Rams Pivot From Dalvin Cook, Re-Sign Familiar Running Back

Sony Michel

Getty The Rams are bringing back a familiar face, who was last seen with the Chargers.

Dalvin Cook is a free agent running back having familiarity with the Los Angeles Rams offense from last season. The Rams, though, ended up pivoting to someone who was in the team’s facility before.

Announced by the team on the afternoon of Tuesday, June 20, the franchise is welcoming back familiar face Sony Michel into the backfield.

Analysts Had Cook Mentioned as Rams Possibility

Cook, who was released by the Minnesota Vikings on June 9, played for former Rams offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell last year and tallied 1,173 yards in what ended up being his last season in Minnesota. Cook was released due to salary cap reasons.

But the moment he became available, the Rams were mentioned by numerous analysts as a strong potential suitor for the four-time Pro Bowler. It was due to the fact that Cook was in a similar offense that Rams head coach Sean McVay likes to run with zone read looks. Plus the fact the Rams were still facing a thin backfield with only four available options during voluntary camps and minicamp in June.

The website bookies.com first gave the Rams one of the highest odds to sign Cook at +650 back on May 19. Even before on May 5, Bleacher Report analyst Nate LaJoie called the Rams a “safe option” for Cook.

“[The Rams] have had a lot of trials and tribulations at running back ever since Todd Gurley made his exit,” LaJoie said in a live video. “The Darrell Henderson experiment didn’t really work out. Cam Akers, when he’s at his best, I think he’s a very solid option, but we have seen him put the ball on the ground so many times. Getting a guy like Dalvin Cook, a true first and second down running back, I think that would be a safe option for Los Angeles.”

But now, Michel returns to the Rams — where he won Super Bowl 56 which was his second Vince Lombardi Trophy.

Reactions Come in on Michel’s Return

Michel was brought in originally after Cam Akers suffered a torn Achilles during an offseason weight room workout on the eve of 2021 training camp.

The then former New England Patriots running back responded with 845 rushing yards — which was in seven starts with the Rams. But, his 21 receptions for 128 yards marked new career-bests for him through the air. Now, there are Ram fans energized about his return.

“Welcome back @Flyguy2stackz! Happy to have Sony Michel back in the RB group. Will never forget the stretch he had to finish the 2021 regular season. We needed that spark to set us up for a championship run,” said the Twitter account Rams on Film.

The Rams Brothers podcast is another welcoming the return of Michel.

“Would’ve preferred to have him back last year, but should provide some more veteran leadership (outside of Cam’s 3+ years) in that RB room. Never forget his 2021 December rushing totals. Legendary 4-week stretch,” they said via Twitter.

Blaine Grisak of SB Nation is another who felt the Rams would’ve benefitted from having Michel in 2022.

Michel, 28, bounced around between the Miami Dolphins and Los Angeles Chargers in 2022. He now reunites with Akers but will be joined by Kyren Williams, Ronnie Rivers and rookie Zach Evans.