Patriots sign first-round RB Michel

New England Patriots running back Sony Michel runs a drill during practice at Gillette Stadium on June 5.Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

Standard four-year contract with a team option for a fifth season.

Rookie running back Sony Michel signed a contract with the New England Patriots, the team announced Monday.

Michel, who was the 31st overall pick of the 2018 NFL Draft, signed the standard deal for first-round picks: a four-year contract with a team option for a fifth season.

The 23-year-old Michel rushed for 1,227 yards and 16 touchdowns during his senior season at Georgia while splitting time with now Cleveland Browns rookie Nick Chubb. Michel finished his career third on the Bulldogs’ all-time rushing list with 3,688 yards.

“Michel often played second fiddle to teammates at Georgia but his elusiveness, soft hands out of the backfield and reliability in pass protection project beautifully as a three-down weapon in the NFL,” Rob Rang of NFLDraftScout.com wrote prior to the draft.

Michel, who is listed at 5-foot-11 and 215 pounds, joins a crowded backfield that consists of James White, Rex Burkhead, Jeremy Hill and Mike Gillislee.

Also on Monday, the Patriots announced offensive lineman Andrew Jelks has been placed on the reserve/retired list.

Jelks was originally signed by the Patriots as a rookie free agent out of Vanderbilt on May 5, 2017. The 6-foot-6, 305-pounder was placed on the reserve/non-football injury list prior to the start of the regular season.

The 24-year-old Jelks played in 24 games with 21 starts over his five seasons at Vanderbilt but missed his final two seasons in 2015 and 2016 due to injury.

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