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New England Patriots

New England Patriots

ATLANTA, GEORGIA - FEBRUARY 03: Sony Michel #26 of the New England Patriots scores a touchdown against the Los Angeles Rams in the fourth quarter during Super Bowl LIII at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on February 03, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Sony Michel, a 2018 Patriots first-round pick and key contributor during the 2018 Super Bowl run, has retired from the NFL. Michel, 28, was with the Los Angeles Rams to start training camp, but Rams head coach Sean McVay told reporters about Michel’s decision to step away from the game prior to Saturday’s training camp practice.

“What an incredible player. What a great career this guy has had,” McVay said while making the announcement.

Michel had a dominant career at the University of Georgia, including being named MVP of the 2018 Rose Bowl. That spring, the Patriots used one of their two first-round selections on Michel, taking him 31st overall (with his Georgia teammate Isaiah Wynn being the team’s other first-round pick). He was the first running back off the board that year, after Saquon Barkley (2nd overall, Giants) and Rashaad Penny (27th overall, Seahawks). While Michel never quite lived up to the first round selection the Patriots used on him, he had a relatively successful career in his short time in the NFL.

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    Michel’s rookie season was his best as a pro. In 13 games – including eight starts – he ran for 931 yards on 209 carries with six touchdowns. However, his real breakthrough came in the playoffs that year.

    As the Patriots adjusted to a more power run-based offense late in the season Michel became a central part of their gameplans. In three playoff games he ran for 336 yards and six touchdowns – both single-season Patriots playoff records – including the lone touchdown for either team in the Patriots’ Super Bowl LIII win.

    In 2019 Michel put up comparable numbers while playing a full 16 games, but the next season injuries limited him to just nine games. Prior to the 2021 season, with the emergence of 2019 draft pick Damien Harris in 2020, Michel was traded by the Patriots to the Los Angeles Rams for a 2022 sixth-round pick and 2023 fourth-round pick that the team then used on guard Chasen Hines and center Jake Andrews, respectively.

    2021 was Michel’s lone season with the Rams. He played in 17 games in a running back rotation, and won his second Super Bowl ring. His contract expired after the season.

    Last year, Michel was in camp with the Miami Dolphins before being released as part of final roster cuts. He ended up signing with the Los Angeles Chargers, and ended up with 36 carries total in 10 games.

    For his career, Michel rushed for 3,243 yards in 65 NFL games, averaging 4.2 yards per carry and 49.9 yards per game. He had 18 rushing touchdowns in the regular season, plus another two receiving.

  • Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at abarth@985TheSportsHub.com.

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