It’s fair to say the New England Patriots‘ running back room is the strongest position group on the roster.
You could make a case for the safety rotation given Devin McCourty, Adrian Phillips and Kyle Dugger are all studs, but the running backs were maybe the team’s most consistent performers last season and the group only got stronger this offseason following the additions of Pierre Strong Jr. and Ty Montgomery.
Of course, the trust New England placed in Damien Harris before last season, coupled with the emergence of fourth-round pick Rhamondre Stevenson during camp and the preseason, gave the front office the desired flexibility to trade Sony Michel to the Rams for two draft picks in late-August.
After a slow start, Michel became a driving force in the Rams’ late-season push to win the NFC West and ultimately went on to win his second Super Bowl.
In predictable fashion, the Rams opted against re-signing Michel and the former Patriot is ironically back in the AFC East after signing with the Dolphins.
Former Patriots RB Sony Michel has signed with the Dolphins
Another former Patriot lands in Miami. What are the odds? Over the years, Brian Flores, Kyle Van Noy, Ted Karras, Elandon Roberts and Eric Rowe all joined the Dolphins after spending time in New England. That list doesn’t include the several former Pats assistants who teamed up with Flores after he was hired.
Getting back to the Michel signing, though, Patriots Nation shouldn’t be overly concerned to see the former RB land in South Beach. For starters, he’s joining maybe the most crowded backfield in the NFL and seemingly won’t have a lead role.
Earlier in the offseason, the Dolphins signed free agents Raheem Mostert and Chase Edmonds to bolster their backfield. With Myles Gaskin, who’s tallied over 800 scrimmage yards in each of the last two years, still on the roster, Michel will have to scratch and claw for carries even as the most experienced RB of the bunch.
After all, Mostert and Edmonds are far more dynamic than the 2019 first-round pick, who’s lack of burst suggests he’s headed for a short-yardage specialist role in Miami while Mostert and Edmonds handle the load on passing downs.
Would we have preferred it if Michel signed outside of the division? Obviously, but we’re not going to blow a gasket because the Dolphins now have a four-headed monster at running back. Patriots fans should be more worried about how the team is going to stop the Dolphins’ passing attack, which added Tyreek Hill and Cedrick Wilson, and handle their revamped the offensive line.
With no JC Jackson, that’s still the top concern.