Cleveland Browns trade LB Mack Wilson to New England Patriots for OLB Chase Winovich

The Cleveland Browns have traded linebacker Mack Wilson to the New England Patriots for outside linebacker Chase Winovich.

Winovich was a part-time starter for the Patriots in 2020, when he finished with 5.5 sacks and 48 tackles. Last year, he had no sacks and just 11 total tackles.

The Michigan alum was a healthy scratch for the team's playoff loss to the Buffalo Bills, an indication that his future with the Patriots was shaky. He was mostly utilized in obvious passing situations as a rusher, and while the Patriots had hopes he could become an every-down player earlier in his career, it seemed Winovich never could earn the trust of the coaching staff as a run defender on the edge. Winovich also battled a hamstring injury last season.

In a message on Twitter, Winovich thanked New England, saying, "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 started out his career as a full-time starter, finishing with 82 tackles for the Browns as a rookie. He posted 28 career starts in Cleveland but was a backup behind rookie Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah last season.

The 6-foot-1, 233-pound Wilson is not as big as the Patriots have traditionally wanted their off-the-line linebackers to be, but he'll join a younger group of players who could be tapped at the position, including 2021 fifth-round pick Cameron McGrone and veteran Raekwon McMillan, among others.

Wilson projects to an off-the-line linebacker role, a spot that could be overhauled with 2021 starters Dont'a Hightower and Ja'Whaun Bentley currently unrestricted free agents. Veteran Jamie Collins, who also played there, is also a free agent.

Both Wilson and Winovich were part of the 2019 draft class.

ESPN's Mike Reiss contributed to this report.