Patriots Analyst Calls For Trade of ‘Out-of-Favor Pass Rusher’

Getty Chase Winovich

Whether it’s because of an injury or a coaching decision, we’re seeing a lot less of Chase Winovich this season. Winovich didn’t play against the Jets, and in the games he has appeared in, he’s played an average of just 13 snaps per contest. In 2020, when he led the New England Patriots with a modest 5.5 sacks, he played almost twice as often at 25.4 snaps per game. It would appear the writing is on the wall.

Musket Fire’s Jerry Trotta wants Winovich dealt…soon. Trotta wrote:

Chase Winovich has never felt like a long-term fit with the Patriots. While the 2019 third-round pick always seems to make an impact as a pass-rusher, he’s only useful in that department. That’s why he’s barely played 35% of the defensive snaps over the first 38 games of his career. Facing a make-or-break season following the Patriots’ record-setting free agent spending spree, Winovich has managed just seven tackles and one QB hit. He missed almost all of training camp with an undisclosed injury and just landed on injured reserve with a hamstring injury he sustained in Week 6. It’s unclear what New England could get in return for Winovich, but at this point they should take anything in the range of a fourth-, fifth- or sixth-round pick. With Matt Judon, Josh Uche, Deatrich Wise and others ahead of him in the pecking order, Winovich would need an injury or two to get regular playing time once he’s activated off IR. At this point, it’d be better for both parties if the Patriots could find a suitor for the Michigan product before the deadline.

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Last season, Winovich was the only defensive player–who remained healthy–that showed the ability to consistently get pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Winovich has never been seen as a strong run defender and the lack of versatility has hurt him.

If the Patriots want to trade him, they must find a suitor who either believes there is more to uncover in the 26-year-old’s bag, or a team that is fine unleashing him as a pass-rush specialist.

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Is Chase Winovich Expendable?

The answer to that question in undoubtedly yes. The Patriots’ defense has been average to good all season playing mostly without Winovich manning a large role. New England loves linebackers who can do multiple things like Jamie Collins, Kyle Van Noy (when he’s playing well) and Matt Judon.

At this point, the Patriots linebackers are all better suited for what the team likes to do defensively, and while there are players who would be upgrades over the current talent, Winovich is likely to stay buried on the depth chart.

Can Winovich Become a Star Elsewhere?

I’m not sure if Winovich can be a star, but it would be foolish to rule out the possibility of him becoming an impact situational player.

He is an above-average pass rusher who needs to shore up some other areas of his game. He might also benefit from playing in a looser environment with a different culture. Winovich can still make an impact in his NFL career, but it is highly unlikely that will happen if he remains with the Patriots.

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