While Cam Akers is going to be the lead back for the Los Angeles Rams during the 2023 season, there are questions about who will spell him as the No. 2.
The Rams feature a lot of young players like Kyren Williams and Zach Evans behind Akers, so the team decided to bring back Sony Michel in free agency. Michel was part of the 2021 squad that won Super Bowl LVI and brought a level of hard-nosed running and toughness at the position.
Following the Super Bowl, Michel signed with the Miami Dolphins but was cut in the offseason. The veteran was then picked up by the Los Angeles Chargers, although he only had 36 total carries for 106 yards in 10 games.
Michel came into training camp fighting with several others for a spot on the team, although that was short-lived as Sean McVay announced after practice on Friday that the 28-year-old will be retiring from the NFL, via Stu Jackson of TheRams.com:
“I was sad for us, but I was happy for him,” McVay said. “I know he gave a lot to this game and he can be really proud of everything that he’s done. I’m looking forward to seeing what’s next in his next chapter.”
Even though Michel’s second stint with the Rams did not last long, McVay still expressed appreciation for him and congratulated him on a great career:
“I thought just being back around him in these last couple of days, you just appreciate the influence that he has, the way that this guy works,” McVay said. “I think when you look at what he’s done going back to Georgia, throughout his rookie year when he broke my heart in ’18 and did a great job in New England, thought he was a hugely instrumental piece for our Super Bowl team a couple years ago. The epitome of a pro, great competitor, and his next chapter is going to be exciting. He’s got so many that gifts he can offer to people. We’ll wish him the best. It’s a bummer, but his body is feeling like it’s talking to him, and I have nothing but respect and appreciation for the competitor that he is. Love Sony, and we’ll continue to stay in touch.”
It seems that Michel is at peace with his decision as he shared a heart-warming story on social media:
What a powerful moment. As I transitioned through the airport a beautiful group of people from City Hope Church of Alabama, who at first didn’t know who I was, asked to lay their hands on me to pray over this wonderful chapter that I decided to close.. Look at God 🙌🏾
— Sony Michel (@Flyguy2stackz) July 30, 2023
Michel finishes his career with two Super Bowl rings in five seasons, carrying the ball 779 times for 3,243 yards and 18 touchdowns. He was instrumental for the Rams down the stretch of their Super Bowl winning season, leading the team with 845 rushing yards and 128 receiving yards to go along with five total touchdowns.
Cam Akers disagrees with how running backs have been treated in free agency
Being a running back is a tough job considering the physical toll it takes and the lack of compensation for it. This free agency period illustrated the disparity as players like Saquon Barkley and Josh Jacobs were unable to land lucrative deals.
Akers is entering his own contract year this season and said he disagreed with how his fellow running backs have been treated in free agency.