Patriots are further proven to be winners of another significant trade

Super Bowl LI - New England Patriots v Atlanta Falcons
Super Bowl LI - New England Patriots v Atlanta Falcons / Patrick Smith/GettyImages

When the Patriots announced they were trading 2019 third-round pick Chase Winovich to the Cleveland Browns at the start of free agency last year, it wasn't a completely unexpected move. The linebacker hadn't been able to make a name for himself when he was on the team, making the trade seemingly beneficial to both sides.

Bill Belichick was initially criticized for the decision, though, since Winovich became the latest member of that draft class to no longer be on the team. The list would become even longer by the following year, furthering that scrutiny of Belichick's draft practices.

But outside of that chatter was also questioning what the Patriots got in return. The Browns sent Mack Wilson in exchange for Winovich, a primarily unknown linebacker that many were doubtful would be much of an upgrade.

That changed later that year when Wilson was a star during the preseason, demonstrating his speed among other abilities that had been lacking with their former draft pick. It presumably solidified the Patriots had come out as the victors of the trade, which was further shown to be true when Winovich was placed on injured reserve in September with a hamstring injury.

Since then, Wilson has been sparingly used on defense and special teams to become an under-the-radar piece of the team, while Winovich has spent time with the Texans and Dolphins throughout 2023. Miami released him earlier this month, and on Tuesday, the linebacker took to Instagram to announce he was retiring from the NFL.

It was an unexpected move by the once-promising Michigan linebacker, but it made sense after dealing with a chaotic last year and a half in his career.

Fortunately, it was the latest example of the Patriots winning another trade that was doubted from the start, mainly because Wilson is still contributing to the team.