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Aug 19, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; New England Patriots running back Sony Michel (26) is stopped by Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Tarron Jackson (75) and linebacker Alex Singleton (49) during the second quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Can we please put an end to this? Sony Michel was a bust. He never came even remotely close to what the Patriots expected of him, particularly in the passing game, and they just unloaded him to the Los Angeles Rams for a pair of throwaway picks – one in each of the fifth and sixth rounds.

Where’s the gray area?

Before we inundate you with data, let’s start with this: you watched Michel for three years here, so what did you see? Great speed? Great vision? The ability to break tackles? How about short yardage? And finally: how did he fare in the passing game, both with and without Tom Brady?

The answer to all, at best: meh. And as it pertains to the passing game – and this is a big point here – he was dreadful.

OK, now the numbers: over the last three years, Michel was one of 17 running backs in the NFL to have carried the ball at least 500 times. Among those 17, he ranked 14th in yards, 14th in yards per attempt, last in receptions, 16th in rushing touchdowns. If you’re interested in analytics, pro-football-reference.com has him ranked 16th among the 17 in “approximate value,” ahead of only Frank Gore, who’s basically older than dirt.

That all said, let’s make this clear, too: this isn’t as much about Michel as it is Bill Belichick because draft position here is a huge part of the discussion. Of the 17 running backs on this list, seven were drafted in the first round and Michel ranked behind the other six, including Adrian Peterson, another older-than-dirt guy. With the exception of Josh Jacobs, the other six all caught in excess of 100 passes over the same three-year span and most carried the ball substantially more.

Over the last 20 years or so, the Patriots have loved to use the word “value” when it comes to player acquisitions, be they free agents or draft picks. Michel was a first-round pick who didn’t come remotely close to performing like one. That’s more than a bad investment.

It’s a bust.

You can hear Tony Massarotti weekdays from 2-6 p.m. EST on the Felger & Massarotti program. Follow him on Twitter @TonyMassarotti.