2. Chase Winovich
The Sony Michel trade proved New England is no stranger to cutting bait with players entering the final year of their rookie contracts, and it feels like Chase Winovich could join that group in some capacity this offseason.
Winovich was the team’s sack leader a season ago, but an undisclosed injury cost him most of training camp and the preseason. Already behind the eight ball after the Patriots’ historic offseason spending spree, Winovich found himself buried on the depth chart and played just 78 snaps in the first six games.
From there, the 2019 third-rounder suffered a hamstring injury that shelved him for a month and he logged just 35 defensive snaps for the rest of the season after he returned in Week 11. When all was said and done, he played more on special teams (161 snaps) than on defense (113 snaps) and didn’t register any sacks.
There’s no denying Winovich’s ability to generate pressure, but his limitations against the run make him more of a situational pass-rusher.
The Michigan product was a surprise inactive for the Patriots’ playoff loss to Buffalo and he just feels like a player who’s run his course in New England. At the very least, though, he hasn’t earned another season in Foxborough.