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ESPN’s bold training camp prediction: Patriots will trade running back Sony Michel

Related: Patriots training camp competitions to watch: Early-down running back

New England Patriots Training Camp Photo by Maddie Malhotra/Getty Images

The New England Patriots have one of the deepest running back groups in the NFL, but beat writer Mike Reiss believes that this could lead to a move being made. Participating in an ESPN story titled Bold NFL training camp predictions for all 32 teams, he picked Sony Michel as a potential trade candidate.

Reiss gave the following rationale:

Sony Michel will be traded to a running back-needy team.

Coach Bill Belichick raved about Damien Harris in the first week of training camp, and once fourth-round pick Rhamondre Stevenson came off the non-football injury list a few days into practices, it highlighted how deep the Patriots are at running back. That sparks a question as to where Michel fits, with Harris and Stevenson roster locks, and receiving back James White, core special teamer/backup Brandon Bolden and sparkplug J.J. Taylor also on the depth chart. Michel, a first-round pick in 2018, could be the odd man out.

Michel earned the Patriots’ early-down role after his arrival in 2018, but he has struggled with injury throughout his career. Last season, Damien Harris took over as the lead back and looked impressive. While Michel had some impressive moments as well and finished the season averaging 5.7 yards on 79 carries, his future remains in question.

With the Patriots having declined his fifth-year contract option, now would be a perfect time to potentially move him — especially if rookie Rhamondre Stevenson convinces during training camp and preseason. A lot has been made about wide receiver N’Keal Harry, but Sony Michel appears to be an equally realistic trade candidate.