BOSTON (CBS) — Bill Belichick and the Patriots pulled off a pair of trades last week, sending running back Sony Michel to the Los Angeles Rams while picking up cornerback Shaun Wade from Baltimore. On Sunday, ahead of New England’s final preseason game against the New York Giants, Belichick was able to speak on both of those deals.

The Michel trade was somewhat expected, given New England’s glut at running back. The Patriots received a pair of future picks — a 2023 fourth-rounder and a 2022 sixth-rounder — in return for Michel, whom Belichick wished well on his new team on Sunday.

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“Sony has been instrumental in our success offensively when he was on the field,” Belichick said during his pre-game interview on 98.5 The Sports Hub. “He battled through some challenging situations as well during his time here. He’s a quality kid. Always worked hard. Always gave his best, tried to help the team and helped the team in a number of ways.

“In the end, we did what was best for the football team,” Belichick added of his motivation for the move. “Wish Sony well and appreciate all that he did for us, but we had to move on. Player movement is a reality in the National Football League.”

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With Michel out of the mix, the Patriots have starter Damien Harris, fourth-round pick Rhamondre Stevenson, third-down back James White and J.J Taylor on the running back depth chart heading into the 2021 season.

After trading away Michel on Wednesday for depth reasons, Belichick went out and picked up Wade to address a depth need at corner on Thursday. Wade was a fifth-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, and Belichick said that he was a player the Patriots liked during the pre-draft process.

“He has some versatility. Played all the corner positions at Ohio State – inside and outside – and is a smart guy. He can pick things up,” Belichick said of the former Buckeye standout. “Obviously played a high level of competition. Happy to add him to our group.”

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With Stephon Gilmore still nursing a quad injury (not to mention his contract status with the team), Wade gives the Patriots a little more depth at a position the team is thin at heading into the season.

CBSBoston.com Staff