What does Sony Michel bring to the Dolphins?

McDaniels signs another weapon this offseason

By: Sam Moores

Mike McDaniel’s Miami Dolphins added another offensive weapon in former Patriots and Rams running back Sony Michel, on Monday evening. The addition of Michel comes after the Fins went through a massive offensive overhaul in the offseason.

Michel brings a unique style of strong running in-between the tackles for McDaniel’s offense. March’s free agency saw the Fins acquire their typical Shanahan style outside-zone back in Raheem Mostert, as well as Chase Edmonds, who not only is a scheme fit, but also a big asset in the passing game. Expect all three of those guys to get the ball in a running back by committee-style rushing attack, like the one we see in San Francisco.

The two-time Super Bowl champion signed a one-year, $2.1 million deal and is no stranger to the AFC East, having spent three seasons in New England before being traded to the Rams before the 2021 season. Michel went for 845 rushing yards and 4 touchdowns, with 128 receiving yards and one receiving touchdown on top of that in the regular season.

As I mentioned previously, this isn’t the first big offensive move the Dolphins have made this offseason. On top of the three running backs, Miami made headlines with the surprise trade for Tyreek Hill in the second week of free agency. General Manager Chris Grier gave up a 2022 first-round pick (29th overall), a 2022 second, two fourth-rounders, and a 2023 sixth to Kansas City for their star wideout. The six-time Pro-Bowler alongside Jaylen Waddle, new free-agent acquisition Cedrick Wilson, Preston Williams, Rookie Erik Ezunkama, and the versatile Lynn Bowden Jr is a pretty strong receiving core.

They also protected Tua Tagovailoa, their quarterback, by adding two pieces to one of the worst offensive lines in NFL history in free agency. The Pro Bowl LT Terron Armstead came over from New Orleans to play left tackle, whilst Connor Williams will slot next to him at left guard. Let’s hope the problem was the coaching last season because one of Austin Jackson and Liam Eichenberg will probably start at a spot on the right side of the offensive line (as those two OL were liabilities last season).

An interesting question arises with Michel in the RB room: what does the arrival of Michel mean for Myles Gaskin and Salvon Ahmed? Both of these guys have had their moments for Miami over the past two years, but face an uphill battle to remain on the 53-man roster. I can see Gaskin being retained as a fourth back for his pass-catching ability, or potentially Ahmed instead, in case Mostert goes down. As it stands though, one of these ball carriers is unlikely to make the team.

All in all, I believe the shiny acquisition of Michel confirms that Mike McDaniel’s O will be similar to what Kyle Shanahan runs in San Fran. Expect a lot of outside-zone, a little bit inside, executed by 3 or 4 running backs, as the bell-cow RB should vary per matchup.

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