Patriots swap Winovich for Mack Wilson in trade with Browns


The New England Patriots haven't made a big free-agent signing yet, but they're still making moves.

The Patriots are trading edge rusher Chase Winovich to the Cleveland Browns in exchange for outside linebacker Mack Wilson, our Phil Perry has confirmed. NFL Network's Tom Pelissero was the first to report the trade.

Winovich had been a disappointment in New England after the Patriots took him in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft and played just 11% of the team's defensive snaps in 2021. But he's still just 26 years old and could benefit from a change of scenery.

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In Wilson, the Patriots get a 6-foot-1, 233-pound outside linebacker who could bring a bit more speed and athleticism to the linebacker group. As Perry points out, Wilson also could make an impact on special teams after taking 52% of the Browns' special teams snaps in 2021.

A fifth-round pick out of Alabama in 2019, Wilson started 14 games as a rookie in Cleveland with 82 tackles, seven passes defensed and an interception. The 24-year-old has seen his playing time decrease since then, though, taking the field for just 21% of the Browns' defensive snaps in 2021.

So, this is essentially a swap of two players who weren't meeting expectations but could improve in a new system. New England's addition of Wilson also continues a shift away from bigger, more physical linebackers in Foxboro.