When the Browns traded LB Mack Wilson to the New England Patriots for DE/LB Chase Winovich, GM Andrew Berry envisioned another pass rusher into the fold. Especially since Joe Jackson signed with Kansas City and Jadeveon Clowney was an unrestricted free agent who may or may not re-sign with the club.
One thing for certain: you can’t have too many pass rushers on the roster.
Winovich had accumulated 11 sacks and 22 QB hits in his first two seasons with the Patriots and was good in run support as evidenced by his 10 tackles for loss.
Before training camp he was on the physically unable to perform list before being activated in mid-August. Then the talented defensive end suffered a hamstring injury in Week 6. The end result was being placed on IR.
In March, Winovich was traded for Wilson straight up.
Now that he is settling down in a new home that is closer to his hometown of Jefferson Hills, Pennsylvania just east of the Ohio-Pennsylvania border although now he spends his off-seasons in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, the new Brown decided that the fan base should choose his new jersey number.
Coming out of high school, he was highly recruited by Florida State, Missouri, Northwestern, Arizona, Arkansas, Michigan, Tennessee, Ohio State, Michigan State, Pitt, Virginia Tech and West Virginia. Despite being an Ohio State fan all his life, he chose Michigan because of his connection with head coach Brady Hoke.
Winovich (6’-3”, 250 pounds) wore #59 initially at Michigan where he played linebacker and sometimes tight end. His official 40 time is 4.59 so he has plenty of speed. While at Michigan he changed his number to #15. He was named First Team All-Big 10 in 2017 and 2018 and selected Second Team All-American.
New England grabbed him in the third round of the 2019 NFL draft where he took on #50 as his jersey number.
So being the new kid in Cleveland, he had this idea that he would let the fans decide which number he should adorn: #69 or #98. Currently, he is penciled in as the starting defensive end opposite Myles Garrett.
Unlike Wilson who was mainly a special teams demon, Winovich is a starting caliber player. Now that he is a Michigan alum and basically a fish out of water, he wanted the Ohio fanbase to contribute their thoughts regarding his new jersey number.
As a gesture of love and respect towards the fine ppl of Ohio, Ohioans please take this moment to decide my number for this upcoming season:— Chase Winovich (@Wino) March 19, 2022
In the poll available on his Twitter account @wino, almost 50,000 Browns fans participated. The winner was #69.
The Browns also announced the jersey numbers of other new players:
New #Browns numbers:— Brad Stainbrook (@StainbrookNFL) April 6, 2022
Amari Cooper: 2
Deshaun Watson: 4
Jacoby Brissett: 7
Jakeem Grant: 9
Corey Bojorquez: 13
Chase Winovich: 69
Taven Bryan: 99
There has been some talk about Odell Beckham, Jr. returning to the roster. If that is the case, he will have to be issued another number than his familiar #13 as long as newly-signed punter Corey Bojorquez is a roster member.
Winovich’s philanthropic work is with The ChadTough Foundation. This organization brings awareness and fund raises for research on DIPG, which is diffuse Intrinsic pontine glioma, an inoperable malignant tumor of the brainstem.