The New England Patriots are trading one of their longtime offensive starters to a familiar NFC rival.
As firs reported by Andrew Callahan of the Boston Herald, the Patriots are trading starting right guard Shaq Mason to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in exchange for a fifth-round pick in the 2022 NFL draft.
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Mason Considered One of NFL’s Top Guards
The 28-year-old had served as the team’s starting right guard since he was selected in the fourth round of the 2015 NFL draft. In seven seasons with the Patriots, Mason missed just 10 games while starting 98 of 103 appearances, as well as three consecutive Super Bowl starts from 2016 to 2018.
Although Mason has never garnered a Pro Bowl or All-Pro selection, he’s been one of the top guards in the league over the last several years. According to Pro Football Focus, Mason posted an 86.9 offensive grade during the 2018 campaign — the highest of any guard in the league that season. During the 2021 campaign, Mason’s performance remained elite. He posted an 86.4 offensive grade, the fourth-highest of any guard in the league.
Since 2016, Mason has ranked within the top 10 in offensive grade among all guards in every season.
Following Ali Marpet’s unexpected retirement, Mason figures to step in and fill in at guard in front of his former Patriots quarterback, Tom Brady.
Patriots Also Trade Chase Winovich to Browns
Although the Patriots haven’t been too busy in signing free agents, they have been busy overall.
Hours before agreeing to trade their starting right guard, the Patriots traded outside linebacker Chase Winovich to the Cleveland Browns in exchange for middle linebacker Mack Wilson.
“Trade! The #Patriots are sending OLB Chase Winovich to the #Browns for LB Mack Wilson, per sources,” says Pelissero.
Winovich had been a member of the Patriots since he was selected with a third-round draft selection in the 2019 NFL draft. The 26-year-old linebacker had a down season in 2021 after starting nine games during the 2020 campaign. Winovich had zero sacks as he saw just 112 defensive snaps during the season.
His 55.6 defensive grade was a career-low, according to Pro Football Focus. Among edge rushers, Winovich’s defensive grade would not have even ranked in the top 50 among all edge rushers had he played enough snaps.
Over the course of his first two seasons, Winovich posted 11 sacks. He ranked a respectable 33rd in defensive grade in each of his first two seasons in New England before falling out of the defensive rotation.
Following his trade to the Browns, Winovich took to Twitter to thank the Patriots for his time there.
“I am so grateful for my experience in New England,” says Winovich. “The love, spirit, and support have been absolutely unreal. This entire region will always hold the most special of places in my heart. The time is now for the next chapter of my journey.”
Wilson entered the NFL in the same year as Winovich and struggled over his first two seasons. According to PFF, The 24-year-old Wilson ranked 83rd in defensive grade in 2019 and 72nd in 2020. However, he posted a respectable 75.3 defensive grade in 2021 in limited duty (he appeared on 193 defensive snaps).