The Cleveland Browns have said goodbye to Chase Winovich
Chase Winovich was supposed to be a solid addition to the Cleveland Browns in 2022. When the Browns made a trade with the New England Patriots, in the offseason of that year, the team swapped Winovich for former Browns linebacker Mack Wilson. Wilson had a bad year for the Patriots, and injuries slowed Winovich for the Browns.
Yet, when Winovich got healthy and was allowed to play, he did look good. At least against the run. Considering that’s the number one area the team needed to improve, it made very little sense to let one of the team’s better run-stoppers go in free agency.
Which is exactly what the Browns did. Winovich and former Browns quarterback Case Keenum went down to Houston this week as part of their new rebuild. The Browns have taken steps to upgrade their defense as a whole, which should help, but the focus has not been on run-stoppers, but on guys who can help facilitate a pass rush. That’s not a bad thing for this team, but if you’re going to bring in guys who largely only impact one aspect of the defense, you can’t sacrifice guys who can help you in other areas.
The Cleveland Browns’ defense was terrible against the run in 2022
The Browns were 8th in the league in most yards given up per rush at 4.7, and 8th in the league in first downs converted on the ground. They were 4th in the league in rushing touchdowns allowed, while also being in the Top 10 in most yards given up against the rush.
They may get a huge break if Lamar Jackson leaves the division, but the team can’t afford to not have good run-stoppers on their team. Myles Garrett isn’t that guy, nor are any of the free agents who are coming in.
The team can still, obviously, add some heavy hitters to play against the rush but part of the concern I have is that the team is again following trends, and over-investing in pass-rushing because that’s what the current trend says they should be doing.
Winovich isn’t some irreplaceable player by any means, he’s just one of the better run-stoppers the team had. The team can clearly upgrade the position beyond what he provided, hopefully, the team has their eyes on some guys who can in fact do that. The team has to be more balanced on defense to win.