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Examining the roster ties between Patriots, Browns ahead of Week 6

The ex-Patriots and ex-Browns in the fold for Sunday at FirstEnergy Stadium.

NFL: OCT 02 Browns at Falcons Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

When the New England Patriots visit the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, the revisiting will extend beyond the likes of Bill Belichick, Billy Yates, Eliot Wolf and Chad O’Shea.

The active rosters, practice squads and reserve lists currently include five former Patriots and seven former Browns.

Here’s a glance through those players leading up to the 1 p.m. ET kickoff at FirstEnergy Stadium.


Jacoby Brissett, quarterback — Through a handful of starts for Cleveland, Brissett has completed 64 percent of his passes for 1,060 yards with five touchdowns and three interceptions. He’s also accounted for 112 rushing yards and an additional score. The North Carolina State transfer from Florida was selected by New England at No. 91 overall in the 2016 NFL draft. Two starts were made during his stay. Those starts saw Brissett go 34-of-55 for 400 yards through the air with 83 yards and one touchdown on the ground. A Super Bowl LI ring followed as a rookie before he was traded to the Indianapolis Colts in exchange for wide receiver Phillip Dorsett at the 2017 roster deadline. After 30 starts as a Colt, the 29-year-old quarterback signed a one-year deal with the Miami Dolphins and then a one-year deal with the Browns.

Hjalte Froholdt, guard — The Patriots called Froholdt’s name in the fourth round of the 2019 draft at No. 118 overall. The Denmark native and Arkansas Razorback spent his rookie campaign on injured reserve and returned to appear in eight games the next fall, playing 61 snaps on offense and 31 snaps on special teams before being waived. The Houston Texans were awarded Froholdt from there. But the 26-year-old guard was signed off the practice squad to Cleveland’s active roster last October. He reached a futures contract in January and has been active for every contest in 2022 as a reserve along the interior line.

Chase Winovich, defensive end — Placed on injured reserve after sustaining a hamstring injury two appearances into September, Winovich had landed in Cleveland midway through March. The 27-year-old did so via trade after entering the NFL with New England in the third round of the 2019 draft. Pick No. 77 overall out of Michigan would appear in 45 games during his tenure, starting nine. Over that span, Winovich recorded 85 tackles, 11 sacks, one forced fumble, an interception and a touchdown. He saw 998 snaps on defense and 601 on special teams.

Corey Bojorquez, punter — Undrafted by way of Cerritos College and New Mexico, Bojorquez didn’t take the field during his lone preseason as a Patriot. Instead, the left-footed rookie looked on in uniform as veteran incumbent Ryan Allen handled the holds and the punts for four exhibitions. But the Buffalo Bills claimed Bojorquez off waivers even so. The 26-year-old specialist would spend three years in the AFC East. Stops with the Los Angeles Rams and Green Bay Packers were up next before he joined the Browns in April. Since then, Bojorquez has punted 17 times for an average of 47.6 yards per with longs of 61, 61, 62 and 63.

Charley Hughlett, long snapper — Three stints with the Patriots were logged in 2014 for Hughlett. The long snapper out of Central Florida had signed that March, returned on the practice squad that September, and then once more that November. But Hughlett has remained in Cleveland since then. The 32-year-old penned a six-year contract extension that exceeded $6 million in 2017. His tenure is tied with four-time Pro Bowl guard Joel Bitonio as the organization’s longest active. Hughlett has snapped in 118 career games for the Browns while totaling 18 tackles and one forced fumble.


Brian Hoyer, quarterback — The Patriots placed Hoyer on injured reserve due to a concussion sustained in his 40th career start. Now at age 37, he has completed 902-of-1,518 throws for 10,668 yards with 53 touchdowns and 35 interceptions since entering the NFL as an undrafted free agent in 2009. The veteran from Michigan State stands 76 games in. And while Hoyer is in his third different tour with the Patriots, his fourth different team would be the Browns. Hoyer signed a two-year deal with Cleveland in 2013. He went 10-6 as the team’s starting quarterback while going 299-of-534 passing for 3,941 yards with 17 touchdowns and 16 interceptions.

Garrett Gilbert, quarterback — The Patriots re-signed Gilbert to the practice squad last week amid attrition under center, and he soon served as a standard elevation. The Super Bowl XLIX champion originally arrived in Foxborough on the practice squad late in 2014 before being waived in early 2015. He returned in the same capacity last September before agreeing to sign to the then-Washington Football Team’s active roster. It has been a circuitous pro path for the former sixth-rounder from Texas and Southern Methodist. Along the way, Gilbert signed with Cleveland after the Alliance of American Football ceased operations in 2019. The 31-year-old quarterback made five appearances during his stay before joining the Dallas Cowboys’ 53-man roster off the Browns’ scout team two falls ago.

Daniel Ekuale, defensive tackle — New England first signed Ekuale to the practice squad at its formation in 2021. A team-high eight elevations, including the AFC wild card, were earned from there for the 28-year-old defensive lineman out of Washington State. Ekuale remained on a futures pact and was kept on the active roster after serving a two-game suspension to begin September. His Patriots run has spanned 11 games, nine tackles and two sacks. But his NFL run began as an undrafted free agent with the Browns in 2018. Ekuale spent part of his rookie year on Cleveland’s practice squad and saw the field for seven games as a sophomore before being waived. He finished 2020 with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Carl Davis Jr., defensive tackle — The Iowa Hawkeye was chosen by the Baltimore Ravens in the third round of the 2015 draft and was claimed off waivers by Cleveland in 2018. Davis recorded one assisted tackle through five contests with the Browns. He would be released as the calendar turned to 2019 after re-signing on a one-year deal. Ahead were treks to Indianapolis and Jacksonville. Davis then agreed to terms with New England off the Jaguars’ practice squad. The 30-year-old has gone on to play in 25 games as a Patriot, starting a handful while having a hand in 24 tackles and his first career solo sack.

Mack Wilson Sr., linebacker — As an outside linebacker from the 2019 draft went to Cleveland, an inside linebacker from that year’s class went to New England. It would be Wilson. The Alabama product had been selected by the Browns in the fifth round at No. 155 overall. From there, Wilson started 14 games and stayed in for 88 percent of the defensive snaps as a rookie to total 88 tackles, one sack, one forced fumble and one pick. Yet just 14 more starts would be made during his time with the Browns. Wilson’s defensive snap percentage continued to drop from his second campaign to his third campaign as he transitioned a core role in the kicking game. In Foxborough, the 24-year-old has made three starts while notching 15 tackles, including one for loss, and a pass deflection.

Jamie Collins Sr., linebacker — Collins started 30 games for the Browns after being acquired from the Patriots at the 2016 trade deadline. A four-year, $50 million contract was in the cards for the former Pro Bowl and All-Pro linebacker, who amassed 135 tackles, seven sacks, two interceptions, three forced fumbles and one fumble recovery while in Cleveland. Collins then made his way back to the Patriots after his release in 2019. And then again in 2021 after being released by Detroit only 16 games into a three-year, $30 million pact. And then again last week as part of the practice squad. Taken in the second round of the 2013 draft out of Southern Mississippi, the 32-year-old Super Bowl XLIX champion has appeared in 76 games as a Patriot and started 58.

Jabrill Peppers, safety — The Browns selected the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, Paul Hornung Award winner and All-American in the first round of the 2017 draft. Peppers started each of his 29 appearances for the club, totaling 137 tackles, one sack and two interceptions while also returning kickoffs and punts. The New York Giants acquired the Michigan standout in 2019 as part of the trade for wideout Odell Beckham Jr. Peppers went on to serve as a captain during his time with New York under ex-head coach Joe Judge. But his time ended on injured reserve last October with a torn ACL. The 27-year-old safety signed a one-year pact with the Patriots in April. Peppers has made one start since then, registering 14 tackles and a fumble recovery.