Should the Patriots Pick Up Sony Michel's Fifth Year Option Next Offseason?

Jason Schandl
Should the New England Patriots exercise Sony Michel's fifth-year option after the 2020 season?
Should the New England Patriots exercise Sony Michel's fifth-year option after the 2020 season? / Adam Glanzman/Getty Images

A team usually known for analytical savvy and a pass-heavy offense, the New England Patriots surprised a lot of people when they used a first-round draft pick on Sony Michel in 2018.

One implication of drafting him that high is getting a fifth-year option on his contract. Between the end of the 2020 season and the start of the 2021 season, they will have to decide whether they want to lock him up for a fifth year.

Should they use that option, or should they let him become an unrestricted free agent following year four?

Michel showed some nice flashes in his rookie season, rushing for 931 yards on 209 carries (4.5 per carry) in 2018. He took a big step back in 2019, however, averaging 3.7 yards per carry (247 rushes for 912 yards). He also hasn't shown much value as a receiver, catching just 19 passes on 31 targets.

And now he's undergone foot surgery this offseason, and he may not even be back in time for Week 1.

Unless he somehow comes back showing massive improvements, the Pats should decline his option.

Michel hasn't really brought them any sort of value that they can't find for a lower price-tag than that option would command. In 2019, Pro Football Focus has Michel graded out as a worse rusher (68.1) than Rex Burkhead (70.7) and a worse receiver (47.3) than James White (85.3). The Pats also still have 2019 third-round pick Damien Harris on a rookie contract.

This is a team known for using a running back-by-committee approach, and Michel just hasn't shown any reasons that they should spend significant money and change that approach.

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Jason Schandl is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Jason Schandl also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Jaymun. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.