Former Patriots 1st-Round Pick Re-Joins Rams

Bill Belichick

Getty Bill Belichick coached Sony Michel for three seasons, including when the Patriots last won the Super Bowl in the 2018 season.

Former New England Patriots Super Bowl champion running back Sony Michel returned to familiar digs recently.

Michel signed with the Los Angeles Rams on Tuesday, June 20, after a year away from the team. He helped the Patriots win a Super Bowl in the 2018 season, ironically against the Rams, before he helped bring Los Angeles its first Lombardi Trophy ever in the 2021 campaign.

The Rams gave him a one-year contract according to Jourdan Rodrigue of The  Athletic. Michel previously had a one-year deal with the Miami Dolphins in 2022 before the team released him, and he signed with the Los Angeles Chargers signed him for the year.

Michel ran for 106 yards on 36 carries, and he caught nine passes for 53 yards amid sparse play, 125 snaps, in 10 games last season. He has 3,243 rushing yards for 18 touchdowns plus 56 receptions for 439 yards and two scores in his career.

Sony Michel Burst on the Scene With the Patriots

A Florida native, Michel emerged as a college star at Georgia with 3,638 yards and 33 touchdowns in his Bulldogs career. The Patriots drafted Michel in 2018 in the first round at No. 31, and he made his mark in 13 games played as a rookie.

Michel rushed for 931 yards and six touchdowns, and he caught seven passes for 50 yards. In the playoffs, Michel tallied another 336 yards rushing and six touchdowns.

That included his 94 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries in the Super Bowl against the Rams. Michel scored the touchdown with seven minutes left in the game as the Patriots won 13-3.

New England enjoyed another strong season from Michel in 2019 as he rushed for 912 yards and seven touchdowns. He also improved a little as a pass catcher for 12 receptions and 94 yards.

His play declined in 2020 with just 449 yards rushing and a touchdown in nine games played. The Patriots traded Michel to the Rams in 2021 for fifth and sixth-round draft picks.

Michel bounced back from a subpar 2020 season as he became a key part of the Rams offense. He tallied 845 yards and four touchdowns plus 21 receptions for 128 yards and touchdown.

His playoff performance with the Rams didn’t match his big postseason run with the Patriots amid just 80 yards rushing. Nonetheless, he won a second career Super Bowl ring with the Rams.

Patriots Yet to Reap from Sony Michel Trade

After the season, New England drafted guard Chasen Hines from LSU with the sixth-round pick from the Rams. The Patriots traded the fifth-round pick plus a second-round pick for the Kansas City Chiefs‘ No. 50 pick to select Tyquan Thornton from Baylor.

Thornton only caught 22 passes for 247 yards and two touchdowns in 13 games as a rookie, which didn’t match the high expectations from his Baylor days. He could take a step forward in this year’s offense under offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien, and quarterback Mac Jones believes Thornton will take the next step.

“I think Tyquan, he’s done a really good job just trying to be consistent,” Jones told reporters on May 31. “I got a chance to work with him in the offseason like a lot of the guys. For me and him, it’s all about communication.”

“He has to grow and learn with me, and all the other guys, too. We’re all in the same boat together, but what you see is exactly what you’re going to get,” Jones added.

As for Hines, he has yet to play a down for the Patriots amid injury.

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