Sony Michel to Rams

TrotWaddles

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Save some cap, get some trade value, ease the crowd at RB--this all looks pretty good. SM seemed a little less durable than BB liked maybe? Best wishes to him down the road.
 

radsoxfan

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Sony could have a good year for the Rams… but could also be getting his knee drained after week 1 and unable to practice all year.

Honestly makes sense for the Rams given their needs and Michel with decent upside, but he’s not someone Bill should prioritize keeping given the depth around him.

A fourth rounder sounds about right. Good luck Sony, wouldn’t be surprised to see your knee MRIs coming across my screen in short order.
 

Jungleland

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It would have been nice to have Chubb right now, but all considered a key championship contributor and a decent draft pick return in trade ain't a horrible outcome for a late 1st round pick. Not the most value BB's ever gotten out of that spot, but respectable.
 

rodderick

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It would have been nice to have Chubb right now, but all considered a key championship contributor and a decent draft pick return in trade ain't a horrible outcome for a late 1st round pick. Not the most value BB's ever gotten out of that spot, but respectable.
I think it's still pretty terrible value. He's a middling starting RB at best and hasn't even been that for most of his career.
 

Cellar-Door

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I am surprised at the reaction here; RBs who aren't stars or excellent pass-catchers still seem very fungible to me and Michel is neither, plus he hasn't stayed healthy. I'm glad to get anything for him.
I think it's good value, I also think it probably makes the team worse this year, I guess the question is whether a 4th next year is worth being a worse team short term.
 

Cellar-Door

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I will say, I hope they poked around on what they could get for Harris before this move, he has 2 very cheap years left which has value, but I thought Sony was the better RB last year and if you see Stevenson as the future, moving Harris then letting Sony walk after this year seems like the better move.
 

SMU_Sox

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Henderson improved from his first year when he had so many mistakes behind the LOS. Vision was an issue. Even with his improvement in year 2 I think Sony Michel is a better option between the tackles. He is bigger and showed something at the end of last year. Sure we’re talking about a stupid sample size of 2 games but he also still has his 2018 to lean on too. They’d make a good duo. The problem is I’m not sure they’d give more than a 5th for him. If they think Stevenson will be healthy enough to contribute at all (if he’s healthy he should be a valuable ST contributor - one of the better aspects of his game coming out and we all know Bill loves his special teamers) they should have the depth to deal Sony. This year is going to be a deep draft class as a ton of guys went back to school last year. Now a 5th round pick is still going to be a low-chance to materialize but a 5th rounder in 2022 might be equivalent to a 4th rounder in the average year assuming the holdouts last year declare this year.
I would trade Sony for a 5th. This is his last year, they have two between the tackles guys who should be able to replace him in Harris and Stevenson, and his roster spot would be more useful for a different position.
Quick edit: I’m also assuming a normal year for underclassmen declaring.
I wrote this back in July before Stevenson went off and the Rams ended up with even more issues at RB. I think it has played out. Keep in mind Sony played so well at the end of last year and in the preseason that I didn’t want to trade him anymore but… now that he is traded I’m fine with it.

Side note. Henderson, Akers, and Michel are all better backs in gap/power. Their ability to read their keys pre LOS and manipulate defenders in zone concepts has always been a weak spot. Pros and in college. Outside zone though would be where you’d expect to see them have success too because all guys have some athleticism and burst to them. Last year the Rams ran 83% zone runs and outside zone is McVay’s bread and butter as others mentioned.

I think you all have it right that this speaks to their trust in Stevenson who went from the dog-house to where he is now. His performance was just impossible to ignore. And because they need the roster spots for other positions like the front 7 and QB potentially this move both adds a replacement to the 5th Bill already traded and clears up that spot. Thank you, Sony for 2018 and happy trails!
 

radsoxfan

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I will say, I hope they poked around on what they could get for Harris before this move, he has 2 very cheap years left which has value, but I thought Sony was the better RB last year and if you see Stevenson as the future, moving Harris then letting Sony walk after this year seems like the better move.
Put Sony on your list with Kemba Walker and Blake Griffin. Bill isn’t playing that game with his #1 back this year.

Sony is younger so maybe the Rams will luck out with a healthy-ish season but you can’t look at Sony without accounting for the massive knee uncertainty. Arthritis doesn’t heal.
 

JM3

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I wrote this back in July before Stevenson went off and the Rams ended up with even more issues at RB. I think it has played out. Keep in mind Sony played so well at the end of last year and in the preseason that I didn’t want to trade him anymore but… now that he is traded I’m fine with it.

Side note. Henderson, Akers, and Michel are all better backs in gap/power. Their ability to read their keys pre LOS and manipulate defenders in zone concepts has always been a weak spot. Pros and in college. Outside zone though would be where you’d expect to see them have success too because all guys have some athleticism and burst to them. Last year the Rams ran 83% zone runs and outside zone is McVay’s bread and butter as others mentioned.

I think you all have it right that this speaks to their trust in Stevenson who went from the dog-house to where he is now. His performance was just impossible to ignore. And because they need the roster spots for other positions like the front 7 and QB potentially this move both adds a replacement to the 5th Bill already traded and clears up that spot. Thank you, Sony for 2018 and happy trails!
It's pretty funny to me we had this exact conversation a month ago with opinions ranging from "no way I'd trade him for a 4th" to "no one would trade anything for him."
 

Cellar-Door

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Put Sony on your list with Kemba Walker and Blake Griffin. Bill isn’t playing that game with his #1 back this year.

Sony is younger so maybe the Rams will luck out with a healthy-ish season but you can’t look at Sony without accounting for the massive knee uncertainty. Arthritis doesn’t heal.
I get that you can't rely on Sony, my point was more, if you have a ton of RB depth, Sony looks better, because he has a higher ceiling, and if he gets hurt you just turn to Stevenson/White. Harris to me looks like just a guy. Solid enough, but limited in the pass game and not some elite rushing talent, his success last year was line dependent

My guess is Sony had more trade value.
 

Ale Xander

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Hate the return, but aware of the depth at the position. Would rather just have cut Bolden and given Taylor more ST roles.

Hope he does well in LA.

I'll miss the hope I had in him after seeing his great performance in the greatest college game I've ever seen live and a top 3 game of this millennium. Which was coincidentally in LA.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v2joz8E6iAw
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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I am surprised at the reaction here; RBs who aren't stars or excellent pass-catchers still seem very fungible to me and Michel is neither, plus he hasn't stayed healthy. I'm glad to get anything for him.
Nostalgia. He was great in the Patriots most recent championship run.

He should go on the doesn't need to buy a beer list.
 

SMU_Sox

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It's pretty funny to me we had this exact conversation a month ago with opinions ranging from "no way I'd trade him for a 4th" to "no one would trade anything for him."
Hah, it wouldn't be SOSH unless we had 100 people in a thread and 101 opinions. Oh and me straddling the fence.

You had so many factors: they need a between the tackles back to backup Harris because he's had injuries the past 2 years. Sony was that guy. Stevenson showed off what he can do so the question became was he ready to go year 1? I tend to be conservative with rookies and projecting their roles but @Kenny F'ing Powers has a point that the early down back types can contribute right away. @Super Nomario has mentioned this before but it is the receiving backs that usually take a year. Still, Stevenson wasn't super polished coming out so I was hesitant. The backup back is an important role given how they want to run and, again, because of Harris's injury history.

Then you had what was fair compensation for him and was he more valuable to the team vs a later round pick because of the above? I think they answered that today.

And then you had the roster spot issues. This team has a lot of quality depth in the front 7 for example and Bill might want to role the dice with Stevenson + have an extra DL or edge player.

With Stevenson's emergence and the shortage of roster spots to accommodate a lot of quality depth this trade makes sense for the Pats. Maybe they draft their James White future replacement with that pick... this year should have a lot better options for a receiving RB in the draft.

If anything this makes me more excited for the season because now I feel like Dodge is going to get some driving time. :)
 

Euclis20

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My first reaction is to hate this deal, but I think that's just judging based on initial draft position (turning a 1st round pick into three years of mediocre production into a 5/6th round pick, maybe a 4th). Looking at this separately from his initial draft position (and make no mistake about it, that was a bad pick), moving on from a 1 dimensional oft-injured running back who was never much more than an average runner when he was on the field is never a terrible move, and they did get some value out of it. Hopefully this move is more about trust in the players behind Sony (Harris, Stevenson, Taylor) than an indictment of Michel's future production.

Cya Sony, thanks for the 2018 playoffs. It wasn't just the super bowl, he was excellent against both San Diego (129 yards and 3 TDs) and KC (113 yards and 2 TDs). Really an historically impressive postseason, especially for a rookie.
 

Cellar-Door

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One year of Sony’s trashed knee had more trade value than Harris? I would seriously doubt that.

Even being lukewarm on Harris I don’t think gets you there.
LA wants a back for 1 year, the 2nd year of Harris isn't a real value to them. If... like me, you think Sony, when relatively healthy is a better back than Harris then it seems straightforward. If you see Harris as a JAG who can't be a passcatcher, he has little trade value, you can grab one of those guys for free. If like me you see Sony as a guy with real upside based on what he showed after his return last year, that has value, because then your concern is more about how many games you get at that higher level. A 4th is better value than I would expect for either guy, but I can see why a team like the Rams would prefer Sony to Harris.

Edit- also nextgen stats LOVED Sony last year, I think LA is one of the teams that uses analytics the most, not sure if their internal models are similar to NextGen, but I would guess they also are high on Sony.
 

radsoxfan

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LA wants a back for 1 year, the 2nd year of Harris isn't a real value to them. If... like me, you think Sony, when relatively healthy is a better back than Harris then it seems straightforward. If you see Harris as a JAG who can't be a passcatcher, he has little trade value, you can grab one of those guys for free. If like me you see Sony as a guy with real upside based on what he showed after his return last year, that has value, because then your concern is more about how many games you get at that higher level. A 4th is better value than I would expect for either guy, but I can see why a team like the Rams would prefer Sony to Harris.

Edit- also nextgen stats LOVED Sony last year, I think LA is one of the teams that uses analytics the most, not sure if their internal models are similar to NextGen, but I would guess they also are high on Sony.
I think Harris at multiple cheap years has more value, but we can agree to disagree.

In a general sense, similar to the basketball threads, I think you are ignoring the chronic progressive nature of Sony's "injury". He's not just waiting for a bone or a ligament to heal.

He is likely close to bone on bone arthritis, Bill knows it and so does the rest of the league. He still could have good games or even a good season but there is a reason teams only want to go cheap, year to year on him. Just like Kemba (though of course the Knicks are the Knicks and gave him 2).

He is a cheaper late Rams career Todd Gurley. They won't mind if they run into the ground this season and it might work, but I don't think Sony is a very valuable piece.
 

lexrageorge

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Regarding Sony Michel's draft value, please review this list:

Jeff Gladney, Kaleb McGary, Rueben Foster, Germain Ifedi, Stephone Anthony, Bradley Roby, Travis Frederick, Doug Martin, Cameron Heyward, Jerry Hughes

Those are the players that were selected since 2010 with the same 31st overall pick as Sony Michel and have played at least a down in the NFL (so 2021 pick doesn't qualify). There were 2 clear home runs: Heyward (2x All-Pro, 4x Pro-Bowl) and Martin (1x All-Pro, 2x Pro-Bowl); and a solid double in Hughes. However, only Heyward stayed beyond his rookie contract. On the other side of the ledger, Frederick is out of the league entirely, and Foster hasn't played a snap in anger since 2018.

Yes, you do hope for more than 3 serviceable when healthy seasons for a RB drafted in the first round. But the bottom of the first round is much more hit or miss than often recognized. Michel is probably closer to expected outcome from that pick than realized; below expectations, but not that far below. And that 2018 Pats team probably doesn't beat KC or St. Louis without Michel's strong running in both games, which matters a lot in my book (just like I'll never trash the selection of Malcom Mitchell for the same reason).

I hope he fares well in LA and parlays this opportunity into a decent 2nd contract. While I wasn't in favor of trading him earlier, that was because Stevenson was still on the PUP and we had no idea what Taylor would show. Given the situation now, a trade made all too much sense.
 

8slim

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I'll never figure out why Sony didn't become more of an all-around back here. Seemed like his UGA career suggested he could be at least competent as a pass-catcher, and he had occasional flashes with the Pats (including the most recent pre-season game). But I trust Bill, and I can see how Sony was the odd man out on this roster.
 

Jimbodandy

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Good trade. They would have had to cut an RB. Sony had a nontrivial dead cap number, if it were him. A 4th (or 5th + 6th) is not nothing. We're flush with backs. Lfg.
 

Super Nomario

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Regarding Sony Michel's draft value, please review this list:

Jeff Gladney, Kaleb McGary, Rueben Foster, Germain Ifedi, Stephone Anthony, Bradley Roby, Travis Frederick, Doug Martin, Cameron Heyward, Jerry Hughes

Those are the players that were selected since 2010 with the same 31st overall pick as Sony Michel and have played at least a down in the NFL (so 2021 pick doesn't qualify). There were 2 clear home runs: Heyward (2x All-Pro, 4x Pro-Bowl) and Martin (1x All-Pro, 2x Pro-Bowl); and a solid double in Hughes. However, only Heyward stayed beyond his rookie contract. On the other side of the ledger, Frederick is out of the league entirely, and Foster hasn't played a snap in anger since 2018.
Frederick was an All-Pro and five-time Pro Bowler whose career was cut short by a nerve disorder. Hughes has had a fine career (although not for the time who drafted him). Roby and Ifedi aren't stars but are quality starters. Jury's still out on McGary (though he is a two-year starter). Sony's in the bottom half of these guys, and on the field only, Anthony is the only one of those picks that's objectively worse (obviously Foster and Gladney were bigger disasters).
 

lexrageorge

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Frederick was an All-Pro and five-time Pro Bowler whose career was cut short by a nerve disorder. Hughes has had a fine career (although not for the time who drafted him). Roby and Ifedi aren't stars but are quality starters. Jury's still out on McGary (though he is a two-year starter). Sony's in the bottom half of these guys, and on the field only, Anthony is the only one of those picks that's objectively worse (obviously Foster and Gladney were bigger disasters).
I agree that a quality, reliable starter is probably the median outcome for the ass end of the first round. And, if I had time, I probably should have expanded my range to cover picks 30-32 or something similar. Michel was below that, mainly due to his knee, IMO; I realize others may disagree with that assessment, but in that playoff run he showed real production running against good defenses. And the knee was a pre-existing condition, so it's not like it just happened after he arrived here.

I wouldn't call it a good pick, but it wasn't a Ken Sims disaster either. It was a better pick in retrospect than Dominique Easley, and maybe equivalent to Malcolm Brown (again, debatable). But Bill will get some future draft capital out of it, which is not the worst outcome either.
 

RG33

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Obviously, you can’t predict injuries, but the Patriots have 4 seemingly serviceable RBs now + a starting QB (tentatively) who averaged 9 rushes a game last year. There are only so many handoffs to go around — getting a 4th round pick for an RB that was likely going to get 6-8 carries a game at most seems like really good value (he has averaged 14 carries a game in his career).
 

Cellar-Door

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I think Harris at multiple cheap years has more value, but we can agree to disagree.

In a general sense, similar to the basketball threads, I think you are ignoring the chronic progressive nature of Sony's "injury". He's not just waiting for a bone or a ligament to heal.

He is likely close to bone on bone arthritis, Bill knows it and so does the rest of the league. He still could have good games or even a good season but there is a reason teams only want to go cheap, year to year on him. Just like Kemba (though of course the Knicks are the Knicks and gave him 2).

He is a cheaper late Rams career Todd Gurley. They won't mind if they run into the ground this season and it might work, but I don't think Sony is a very valuable piece.
That's exactly my point, though, teams are interested in Sony for this year because he could be very good, his injury is progressive, but in some ways that is better on one year than one which doesn't allow explosiveness. I think you are missing my point. I think Sony has mediocre value, a 4th was a good get for him. I just think Harris has little value, if we're using NBA terms he's Cory Joseph. There's a reason even with his knees Kemba had more value when he became a FA than Joseph did. Short term gambles on players with higher ceilings make more sense to teams than longer term lower risk deals on guys with low ceilings and emminently replaceable skillsets.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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It will be interesting to see if he's used a bit more as a receiver out of the backfield in L.A. From the eye test at least it seems to be a part of his game that has improved a bit recently. At .7 catches per game he really can't go anywhere but up but it will be interesting to see if he is used more that way on a different team.
 

DJnVa

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Harris to me looks like just a guy. Solid enough, but limited in the pass game and not some elite rushing talent, his success last year was line dependent
Not saying you're wrong, but how are you attributing Harris's success to line play, but not any success Michel had? What're you seeing to say "This is the RB" vs "This is the OL"?
 

PedroKsBambino

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That's exactly my point, though, teams are interested in Sony for this year because he could be very good, his injury is progressive, but in some ways that is better on one year than one which doesn't allow explosiveness. I think you are missing my point. I think Sony has mediocre value, a 4th was a good get for him. I just think Harris has little value, if we're using NBA terms he's Cory Joseph. There's a reason even with his knees Kemba had more value when he became a FA than Joseph did. Short term gambles on players with higher ceilings make more sense to teams than longer term lower risk deals on guys with low ceilings and emminently replaceable skillsets.
I would be pretty surprised if there's any NFL team who thinks that Harris has a lower ceiling than Michel at this point in their careers. Your comparison seems pretty distant from the players involved. I don't know whether Harris will amount to a lot, but both performance and age tell the exact opposite story to what you're suggesting as between Michel and Harris.
 

Super Nomario

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It will be interesting to see if he's used a bit more as a receiver out of the backfield in L.A. From the eye test at least it seems to be a part of his game that has improved a bit recently. At .7 catches per game he really can't go anywhere but up but it will be interesting to see if he is used more that way on a different team.
The Rams don't have a James White to take a lot of the targets on passing downs. Over the past few seasons, their top receiving backs basically correlated with their top rock-toting backs. So I'd definitely expect him to get more passing game work with LA than he did in New England.
 

Cellar-Door

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Not saying you're wrong, but how are you attributing Harris's success to line play, but not any success Michel had? What're you seeing to say "This is the RB" vs "This is the OL"?
It's not all Sony either, I was just saying I think Sony showed himself to be the better back last year and generally the next gen stats back it up. They ran in the same offense and Sony did more with his opportunities

I would be pretty surprised if there's any NFL team who thinks that Harris has a lower ceiling than Michel at this point in their careers. Your comparison seems pretty distant from the players involved. I don't know whether Harris will amount to a lot, but both performance and age tell the exact opposite story to what you're suggesting.
I don't agree. If I were looking at a 1 season rental RB, I look at Sony and see the better bet. He has more past success (pre-injury) and he was the better back last year by just about any metric.
We're talking mediocre RBs, you go year to year with those guys and Sony is the better player. He also seems to be the more rounded player, which is important to many teams who want their back to be at least some threat to catch the ball.
 

Super Nomario

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It's not all Sony either, I was just saying I think Sony showed himself to be the better back last year and generally the next gen stats back it up. They ran in the same offense and Sony did more with his opportunities


I don't agree. If I were looking at a 1 season rental RB, I look at Sony and see the better bet. He has more past success (pre-injury) and he was the better back last year by just about any metric.
We're talking mediocre RBs, you go year to year with those guys and Sony is the better player. He also seems to be the more rounded player, which is important to many teams who want their back to be at least some threat to catch the ball.
When both were healthy last year (which wasn't often), Harris played over Sony. Neither one is a factor in the passing game at this time.
 

PedroKsBambino

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I don't agree. If I were looking at a 1 season rental RB, I look at Sony and see the better bet. He has more past success (pre-injury) and he was the better back last year by just about any metric.
We're talking mediocre RBs, you go year to year with those guys and Sony is the better player. He also seems to be the more rounded player, which is important to many teams who want their back to be at least some threat to catch the ball.
What I commented on was your prior suggestion through the Walker-Joseph comparison that Michel had more upside, which I simply don't think is defensible. If you are now saying his expected one-year performance is higher that's not ridiculous (though I don't think most teams would bet on that, either). You are also introducing the question of commitment, which is reasonable though different than what I posted about.
 

Cellar-Door

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What I commented on was your prior suggestion Michel had more upside, which I simply don't think is defensible. If you are now saying his expected one-year performance is higher that's not ridiculous (though I don't think most teams would bet on that, either). You are also introducing the question of commitment, which is reasonable though different than what I posted about.
When I say upside I mean... performance upside for this year. Nobody is trading for one of these guys in the hopes he's the long-term answer at RB for them, even the Patriots clearly don't think that about either one.
They are trading for what they think the performance this year will be and to me, the ceiling on a Sony Michel season is considerably higher than Harris. He's to me a better back and has shown it, and if one of them is going to catch 2-3 passes a game and get you significant production on those targets it's more likely to be Sony. That's what you are trading for, the upside that you get an above average back, if you don't ... well average and below average RB play is basically free on waivers. That is my point. If you are a team that needs a RB right now in hopes he can be your #1 back.... Sony is the better gamble than Harris, because "good" Sony is more productive and versatile than "good" Harris. A 4th feels like an overpay for either, but I do think that Bill probably would have moved whichever brought more back.
 

Soxy

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It would have been nice to have Chubb right now, but all considered a key championship contributor and a decent draft pick return in trade ain't a horrible outcome for a late 1st round pick. Not the most value BB's ever gotten out of that spot, but respectable.
I think it's still pretty terrible value. He's a middling starting RB at best and hasn't even been that for most of his career.
I'm more with the former than the latter. Flags fly forever, and they don't win the Super Bowl that season without Sony Michel. He was borderline unstoppable in the first half of that Chargers playoff game.

He'll always be judged vis-a-vis Lamar Jackson and Nick Chubb, and the pick certainly looks bad when framed that way. But the Pats definitely don't win the Super Bowl that season if they take Lamar Jackson, and one can't simply assume they do with Chubb either. We know they did with Michel. Doesn't make it a great pick by any stretch, but I have difficulty drumming up any animosity towards it. Hoped he would have been better/healthier, but he played a major role for a championship team.

I end up landing on the pick being fine. Not perfect, could have been worse. Just fine.
 

mauf

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I’m happy for Sony. The Rams are one of a handful of teams with a chance to win a ring if several things break right, and they wouldn’t have done this trade if they didn’t have a role for him.

For the Pats, it’s addition by subtraction imo. Not because Sony can’t add value in the right situation, but because it seemed like McD narrowed the playbook when Sony was on the field. We’re better off with a less talented but more versatile back. (And I don’t think it’s a given that the alternatives are less talented than Sony.)
 

Captaincoop

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I just find it odd that Bill Belichick, somewhat accomplished football mind, would choose to play Harris over Sony if Sony was the better back. And then trade the better back away, because there was more value on the table, in the form of a 4th round pick.

If he felt like Sony were better, he would have kept him, 4th round pick be damned. He also would have used Sony more when they were both available.
 

tims4wins

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Harris has more value than Sony solely by virtue of the two years of cheap control left. This isn’t even really debateable.
 

Cellar-Door

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I just find it odd that Bill Belichick, somewhat accomplished football mind, would choose to play Harris over Sony if Sony was the better back. And then trade the better back away, because there was more value on the table, in the form of a 4th round pick.

If he felt like Sony were better, he would have kept him, 4th round pick be damned. He also would have used Sony more when they were both available.
I mean both were available for what 2 games and split carries 27/17? What Bill values in a RB room is also not the same as what others do, he likes reliable non-pass catchers more than maybe anyone else in the league. I think Bill probably (correctly) sees them as interchangeable parts. The start of this whole digression was my wondering if they shopped both and Sony was the guy LA wanted (and I think that's likely the case).