The Cleveland Browns keep making moves in the early part of the offseason as they finalized a trade on Tuesday morning as they shipped linebacker Mack Wilson to the New England Patriots for pass rusher Chase Winovich. The move was first reported by NFL Network.
Wilson was not likely going to be on the roster for the 2022 season due in large part to his salary.
The fourth-year linebacker earned a pay raise for his performance in 2021 and was scheduled to make $2.5 million but he was the fourth or fifth linebacker in the rotation, the Browns don’t typically like to pay for depth so it was a matter of when not if he’d get moved during the offseason.
That’s not disrespecting Wilson as a player because he was great in his role in 2021, playing limited snaps at linebacker and being one of the best special teams players for a unit that struggled for the entire season.
He now goes to New England where Bill Belichick loves special teams players and probably has a role for Wilson in mind.
The Browns get back Winovich, also entering his fourth season in the NFL after being drafted as a third-round pick by the Patriots back in 2019. While he started nine games in 2020, he was more of a situational pass rusher in New England in his first two seasons while 2022 was a tough season for him dealing with injuries and also getting his playing time cut down.
Cleveland definitely needed to address the pass rusher position because outside of Myles Garrett they have nothing on the roster currently with Jadeveon Clowney isn’t expected to return and Curtis Weaver being the only other edge defender currently on the roster.
Don’t expect the Browns to stop with Winovich as their only addition during the free agency/trade period. Jeremy Fowler of ESPN reported early Tuesday morning that the team is “going big” at pass rusher and the team has been connected to Von Miller in the early portions of the legal tampering period.