According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport the Patriots are trading Sony Michel to the Los Angeles Rams for 2022 fifth- and sixth-round picks that could elevate to a fourth-round pick.
Michel has had a strong training camp for the Patriots, staying healthy and showing a renewed burst. Most intriguing was how Michel was catching the ball, especially in the game against the Eagles, earning him praise from running backs coach Ivan Fears over the weekend.
A 2018 first-round pick, Michel was a big key in the Patriots' march to Super Bowl 53, scoring six touchdowns in three playoff games. Michel had a strong finish to the 2020 season but was held to a career-low nine games. The Patriots chose not to pick up Michel's fifth-year option, which will make him a free agent after this season.
This now puts the focus on second-year back J.J. Taylor and rookie Rhamondre Stevenson, who have both had strong summers as well, not to mention Damien Harris, who now should be expected to take over the lead back role for the offense. Brandon Bolden could also be the beneficiary of a roster spot, though he has been battling injuries recently in camp.
Even with Michel no longer in the mix, the Patriots have good depth at running back and his departure should open up more opportunities for new players to step in and contribute, starting with Stevenson and Taylor.