WPIAL OLB Chase Winovich Signs With Houston Texans
The NFL journey will continue for former Thomas Jefferson star Chase Winovich, but it won’t be back in Pittsburgh.
Winovich signed a 1-year, $2.75 million deal with the Houston Texans Monday afternoon, taking his name off the market on the first day of the 2023 NFL free agency window, KPRC’s Austin Wilson reported.
The Steelers have a significant need at outside linebacker behind T.J. Watt and Alex Highsmith that they have been trying to address for two off-seasons now to no avail. Malik Reed is an unrestricted free agent and unexpected to be re-signed after a mediocre 2022 season. Melvin Ingram demanded a trade in the middle of the 2021 season, unhappy with his playing time.
Winovich spent the 2022 season with the Cleveland Browns, after arriving in a trade from the New England Patriots last March, but he was only able to play in eight games last season as he dealt with an injury.
In four NFL seasons, three with the Patriots and one with the Browns, the Jefferson Hills native has recorded 105 tackles (70 solo), 11 tackles for loss, 12 sacks, an interception, three pass breakups and a forced fumble.
After a strong first two seasons in New England, Winovich hasn’t consistently been able to stay on the field over his last two seasons. But he should be in line to carve out at least a depth role on the Texans’ defensive line.
Winovch was drafted in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft out of Michigan, where he was an All-Big Ten and All-American performer. In four years in Ann Arbor, he racked up 166 tackles (86 solo), 43 tackles for loss, 18.5 sacks, three forced fumbles and recoveries and a pass breakup.
He originally committed to Michigan as a four-star recruit in the class of 2014, spurning heavy interest from childhood favorite Ohio State, among other schools.