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Former Patriots first-round pick Sony Michel returns to the AFC East as a member of the Dolphins

Related: Nobody loves drafting running backs as much as Bill Belichick

New England Patriots v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Sony Michel is back in the AFC East, but the veteran running back did not reunite with the team that originally drafted him in 2018. Instead of rejoining the New England Patriots, Michel signed a one-year deal with the Miami Dolphins, as first reported by NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

Michel, 27, arrived in the NFL as a first-round draft pick out of Georgia four years ago. The 31st player to hear his name called, he went on to appear in a combined 42 regular season and playoff games for the Patriots and gain 2,689 rushing yards on 620 carries. He also scored 20 touchdowns, including the game-winner in Super Bowl LIII versus the Los Angeles Rams.

However, the Patriots decided to decline the fifth-year option in his rookie contract and Michel was eventually traded to just these Rams last August. With Damien Harris solidifying himself as RB1 and rookie Rhamondre Stevenson emerging as a suitable rotational option alongside him, Michel was sent to L.A. in exchange for a sixth-round selection in 2022 as well as a fourth-round pick in 2023.

He played 21 games for the Rams during the 2021 season, including the team’s Super Bowl win. Serving as Los Angeles’ lead running back, Michel carried the football 234 times for 925 yards and four touchdowns.

Despite his first-round pedigree and overall résumé, he received limited interest upon entering unrestricted free agency in March. Now, Michel has finally found a team — returning to the division he called home for the first three years of his career.

His former team, meanwhile, is still deep at the running back position. Not only are Harris and Stevenson the one-two punch on early downs, the Patriots also drafted a pair of running backs — Pierre Strong and Kevin Harris — earlier this month. Additionally, the team has veteran James White, free agency acquisition Ty Montgomery and third-year man J.J. Taylor under contract.