New England Patriots Trade Grades: Winovich a win; Mason confusion

Chase Winovich #50 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Maddie Malhotra/Getty Images)
Chase Winovich #50 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Maddie Malhotra/Getty Images) /
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New England Patriots
New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports /

The New England Patriots have been unsurprisingly quiet to start free agency this offseason. After their spending spree in 2021, the team wasn’t exactly flush with cap space heading into free agency this time around, so it isn’t a huge surprise.

The Pats have generally focused on re-signing their core veterans on cheap, team-friendly deals so far. The group of players that have re-signed so far are Devin McCourty, Brian Hoyer, James Ferentz, Matthew Slater, Nick Folk, and James White. While no outside players have been brought in through free agency yet, that seems bound to change after a pair of trades were swung yesterday.

Heading into the offseason, it was clear that New England had some deadweight on the bottom of their roster that needed to be shed, and Bill Belichick made his first move to unload some of that weight by trading edge rusher Chase Winovich to the Cleveland Browns in return for linebacker Mack Wilson. Belichick also freed up cap space in a controversial move, sending offensive lineman Shaq Mason to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in return for a fifth round pick.

While neither deal may be overly popular with the Patriots fan base, it’s clear Belichick has a plan of attack moving forward. New England has already created a couple more holes across their roster, so it will be interesting to see how they are addressed moving forward. Let’s take a closer look at the Winovich and Mason trades, and hand out a grade for each deal.