New England Patriots: 3 thoughts as joint practices with Giants wrap up

Mac Jones #10 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Mac Jones #10 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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New England Patriots
Sony Michel #26 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

New England Patriots thought No. 2: Running back room set in stone

It always felt like something had to give when it came to New England’s group of running backs, and it finally happened yesterday morning when Sony Michel was traded to the Los Angeles Rams. Just a few years after scoring the game winning touchdown in Super Bowl LIII against the Rams, Michel will be joining the team he helped defeat to earn his first Super Bowl ring.

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The Pats will bring in a 2022 sixth round pick and a 2023 fourth round pick in return for Michel. Considering there was a good chance Michel wasn’t going to stick on this roster, the move makes a lot of sense. Sure, the return isn’t fantastic considering New England used a first round pick on him just a few seasons back, but it’s better than the alternative, which was nothing.

Michel’s departure has basically already locked in the Patriots running back room, with the only player whose roster spot is in question being Brandon Bolden, and he’s really just a special teams player. Otherwise, it appears a fierce running back competition has come to a close, with J.J. Taylor convincing the coaching staff he was worth keeping over Michel.

An argument can technically be made that this move leaves New England a bit lacking in depth at the position now, but that’s pretty shortsighted. Damien Harris is the top option now, and Michel wasn’t really going to change that. Harris has dealt with injuries throughout his career, but so has Michel, and saving a roster spot for him felt unnecessary with Taylor and Rhamondre Stevenson on board now.

Both Taylor and Stevenson have been phenomenal in preseason action, and essentially made Michel expendable. The Pats took note and quickly flipped Michel for what they could get before the final roster cuts were made. It may not seem like a lot, but the running back room was a big piece to figuring out the Patriots final 53 man roster, and now the focus can be directed to other positions as we move closer to the final days of cuts.