New England Patriots: 3 trade candidates before the start of the season

Sony Michel #26 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Sony Michel #26 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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New England Patriots
Chase Winovich #50 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

We are officially less than three weeks away from the New England Patriots season opener on September 12th against the Miami Dolphins. That means the last phase of the offseason, the training camp/preseason phase, is nearly over, which in turn means the roster will have to be trimmed down to 53 players by August 31st.

The Patriots have looked fantastic throughout preseason, which is only going to make this process more difficult. After outlasting the Washington Football Team in their first contest, they demolished the Philadelphia Eagles in their second game. It is admittedly just the preseason, but the results are still encouraging nonetheless.

This is a sign of not only good players, but good competition. That in turn makes it difficult to part ways with some players who have stood out in their limited game action. That is the nature of the business though, and with another cut day tomorrow on the 24th, it will be interesting to see if any big names won’t make it to the final preseason game against the New York Giants.

As the roster crunch continues to draw near, one possible avenue to clear up some room would be through the trade market. New England certainly has a couple of players who may not end up having a role on their team, but could be a helpful contributor for another team. Here are three potential trade candidates on the Patriots roster that could be moved before the start of the season.

New England Patriots trade candidate No. 3: Chase Winovich

Much has been made about Chase Winovich‘s situation throughout New England’s training camp. It’s felt like this could be a make-or-break season for the energetic pass rusher, that is if he even ends up on the roster.

After finding himself in head coach Bill Belichick‘s doghouse on multiple occasions last season, and then missing a good portion of training camp, it’s fair to wonder whether or not there will be a roster spot available for Winovich. There’s certainly been some competition at the edge rusher spot, and with guys like Matthew Judon and Kyle Van Noy being brought into the fold, Winovich may end up getting boxed out when all is said and done.

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Rather than cutting ties with the young pass rusher, the Patriots could look to trade him to another team that may need an influx of youth on their d-line. Winovich had a pretty solid game against the Eagles, as he picked up two sacks as well as another tackle for a loss. Yet he continued to make foolish plays, such as an early roughing the passer on Joe Flacco for a hit well after he released the ball, that continue to hold him back.

Winovich clearly has the potential to develop into a top tier pass rusher in the NFL, but his lack of consistency has hurt his chances of making the roster. He’s had five and a half sacks in both his NFL seasons so far, which may show consistency to some, but really should be viewed as a missed opportunity last season. Winovich was presented with an increased role, but failed to improve upon his rookie season.

If the coaching staff ultimately determines there may not be a spot for Winovich on the roster, they would to wise to try to move him while they can. He’s clearly shown an ability to get to the quarterback, but he needs to improve on his consistency if he’s ever going to find a starting role. Only time will tell whether he gets that chance to improve with New England.