Patriots: Sony Michel’s 5th-Year Option Far From Guaranteed

The New England Patriots have a big decision to make on Sony Michel next offseason.

The 2020 season is filled with uncertainty for the New England Patriots. The departure of Tom Brady has left a massive void at quarterback (sorry to remind everyone once again) and the shocking unretirement of Rob Gronkowski, who spurned the organization to join Brady in Tampa, was a true gut punch.

On top of that, a number of Pats players have to prove themselves this year to keep their jobs in New England beyond 2020 or 2021. One of them is running back Sony Michel, who is currently recovering from offseason foot surgery.

While the former first-round pick and Georgia Bulldogs star helped the Patriots defeat the Rams in Super Bowl LIII, he followed up his stellar rookie campaign with a stinker. While he did log a career-high seven touchdowns, he amassed only 912 rushing yards on 247 attempts (just 3.7 YAC) in 16 games.

Sony Michel’s second season paled in comparison to his first

The worst part is that he played in three fewer games the season prior and had more yards on the ground and averaged nearly one more yard per carry. While that can be attributed to the fact the Patriots’ offense took a major step back coupled with Michel’s ailing foot, he’ll need to rebound in a big way this coming season in a less-than-ideal situation.

If he doesn’t prove to Bill Belichick that he’s capable of producing while carrying the load in the backfield, do you think for a second the team is going to exercise his fifth-year option and spend even more money on a largely expendable position?

And with former Alabama star Damien Harris lurking in the shadows, the writing seems to be on the wall if Michel doesn’t take a step forward. It’s not going to help that Jarrett Stidham will likely be under center either considering defenses will be feasting on the opportunity to stop the run game and force the former Auburn QB to throw the ball.

We’ve seen this team go through running backs without batting an eye, and it won’t be any different for Michel, even if he was first-round pick. That’s actually working against him because of the price tag that comes with it.