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 defensive end Chase Winovich (50) Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports /

New England Patriots Trade No. 1

The Patriots and Browns engaged in a rare player-for-player deal that saw each team unload a player that had fallen out of favor with their current coaching staff. Winovich, after picking up 5.5 sacks in both of his first two seasons, only managed a measly 11 tackles and 0 sacks in 2021. Wilson had a solid rookie season, but he saw his starting role eventually taken away from him by Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah last season.

A fresh start should benefit both players mightily. Winovich’s status with the team never seemed secure in 2021, and once he stopped producing as a pass rusher, he served no purpose being on the field. Winovich has upside as a pass rusher, but his complete inability to play against the run severely limits his potential, and if you can’t defend both, you probably aren’t going to see the field under Belichick’s watch.

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Wilson on the other hand will come in and probably fill a big area of need at linebacker for New England. He’s not as big as the Patriots typically like their linebackers (6’1, 233 lbs) but he’s a very intuitive linebacker who always seems to find a way to do things right. He’s a good tackler, solid in both run and pass coverage, and most importantly, he’s fast.

Wilson falling out of favor with the Browns coaching staff is a bit worrisome, but we have seen players in similar situations find a way to breakout under Belichick’s tutelage, and it wouldn’t be extremely surprisng to see something similar happen here with Wilson. He’s got Alabama roots, has proven he can successful in the NFL, and has the ability to do pretty much everything asked of him at linebacker.


This isn’t a massive deal by any stretch of the imagination, but New England potentially picked up a starting linebacker for an edge rusher who didn’t even suit up for the team’s Wild Card game against the Buffalo Bills. Winovich clearly wasn’t a part of the team’s plans moving forward, so being able to pick up a high-upside player such as Wilson is a win-win deal for the team. If Wilson pans out, it will go down as another stroke of genius from Belichick.