The New England Patriots have never shied away from parting ways with players entering the final year of their rookie contract. Just last year, they traded running back Sony Michel to the Los Angeles Rams with one year left on his deal.
Could they make another such move in 2022? According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, they do have one realistic trade candidate on their roster: linebacker Chase Winovich, who was listed among 20 under-the-radar trade candidates.
Chase Winovich, DE, New England Patriots
Signed through: 2022
Winovich was buried on the depth chart in Year 2 [sic], failing to crack 22 defensive snaps in any game and recording DNPs in December games. He gets knocked for his run defense but can be a situational pass-rusher somewhere. Perhaps new Raiders general manager Dave Zeigler [sic] — the Patriots’ de facto GM last year — will look into Winovich in exchange for a late-round pick. It’s possible Las Vegas switches from a 4-3 to a 3-4 defensive formation.
The Patriots’ sack leader in 2020, Winovich had a disappointing season in 2021. Buried on the depth chart, the third-year defender ended with more snaps on special teams (161) than on defense (113). He did not register any sacks after notching a combined 11 in his first two years in the league.
Winovich does have some potential as a situational pass rusher, and the Patriots might still see some value in him if they want to get younger up front, but he failed to crack the rotation last year. Accordingly, it would not be a result to see the team part ways with him.
The Las Vegas Raiders under new general manager Dave Ziegler are potential trade partners, but so appear to be the Houston Texans. Their own GM, Nick Caserio, was involved in the Patriots drafting Winovich in the first place.