What can Sony Michel offer to Saints’ crowded RB room?
By Kristen Wong
The New Orleans Saints should consider signing Alvin Kamara’s backup in former Rams’ RB Sony Michel, who can keep the run offense humming in 2022.
Michel reportedly is visiting with multiple teams post-draft including the Dolphins and the Saints, and NOLA in particular has a very good reason for wanting extra running back depth.
Alvin Kamara could still be slapped with a suspension following his February arrest in Las Vegas, and if he does miss time, the rest of the Saints’ running back room doesn’t exactly ooze starting potential.
Behind Kamara, the Saints have Mark Ingram, Tony Jones Jr., Dwayne Washington, Josh Adams, and Abram Smith.
Ingram, a fan favorite, probably won’t get displaced from his RB2 role, but Ingram’s production may continue to decrease as the beloved Saints back recorded just 260 rushing yards in seven games last season — that’s worse than how he fared in Houston.
Jones and Washington may lend their talents more easily to special teams while Adams and Smith are fringe RB4 hopefuls who will be lucky to make the roster in 2022.
New Orleans Saints would be smart to sign an experienced RB like Sony Michel
By comparison, Sony Michel poses as a starting-caliber option in the backfield who came off a solid season with the Rams in 2021. The two-time Super Bowl champion went for 845 yards and four touchdowns in 17 games played for Los Angeles but was employed less frequently in the playoffs when the Rams opted to start Cam Akers instead.
Michel, a 2018 first-round pick, perhaps never reached his potential in the league, but as a backup on the Saints, he doesn’t have to.
Assuming Kamara still plays most of the snaps, Michel possesses the grit, talent, and winning mentality to find success as a third-down power back and can share Kamara’s heavy load all year round.
Whereas players like Ingram are clearly regressing, Michel enjoyed a jump in production in 2021 after his pitiful final season in New England in 2020, proving that he can thrive in the right offensive scheme.
The Saints’ rushing offense was strikingly inefficient last year, when backup quarterbacks like Taysom Hill and Trevor Siemian depended too much on the run game and when the offensive line suffered quality control issues.
2022 presents a clean slate for the Saints in every aspect of their game, and the rushing offense in particular could use a new face like Michel to add a bit of juice to their attack as well as reliability in the running back corps.
NOLA’s offense is already getting plenty of shiny new reinforcements this season — why not add another one?