ALLEN PARK, Mich. — If he needs to, Chase Winovich will part ways with the mop of blonde hair that’s defined his look since the fall of 2016.
The second-round New England Patriots draft pick is a team player, after all, so if the veterans on the squad decide to hand out rookie haircuts this season, he’ll accept his with no complaints.
But he’d really rather not.
Speaking after Tuesday’s joint practice with the Detroit Lions, the young edge rusher said he’s already tried some reverse psychology in an effort to keep his luscious locks.
“I really don’t know,” Winovich said. “For me, (my hair) is a source of pride and strength, I’d say, to a certain degree playing football. But at the end of the day, it’s just hair, and if they really want me to cut it, I wouldn’t have any qualms about it. I’m part of a team. It’s not about me, it’s about what the team wants.
“I’ve expressed that to some of the leaders, so I think that makes them less inclined to try to cut it anyways. That’s kind of human nature.”
First-year haircuts aren’t an annual tradition for the Patriots, and they don’t always come at the start of a given season. In 2016, the team waited until the playoffs before taking the clippers to Joe Thuney’s, Jacoby Brissett’s and Ted Karras’ heads, and the last two draft classes have escaped unshorn.
Winovich hopes that trend continues this season, as does first-round pick N’Keal Harry, who sent a plea to quarterback Tom Brady last month during an interview with FOX Sports 1’s “Fair Game.” Comments made by Nick Caserio on draft night, however, suggested the flow could be in jeopardy.
“He’s got long hair, which I’m sure everybody will enjoy,” the Patriots’ director of player personnel said of Winovich. “Until we make him cut it.”
Thumbnail photo via Zack Cox/NESN.com