On Tuesday, the Miami Dolphins made headlines when they reportedly released linebacker Kyle Van Noy just one year after he siged a four-year, $51 million contract in free agency.
The news was initially viewed as shocking to many, especially to Van Noy who was named a Dolphins team captain last season.
“I am surprised and disappointed in their decision,” Van Noy told NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo in a statement. “As a captain, I gave my all to the team. I fought through a painful hip injury during the season, including spending a night in the hospital after a game.
“I was brought there to be a leader, and I know my teammates looked up to and respected me. I am looking forward to making an impact on my next team, on and off the field.”
Speculation and chatter of a Van Noy return to Foxboro immediately followed the report.
Van Noy was traded to the Patriots in late October 2016 from the Detroit Lions and became an integral part to a defense that helped the franchise reach three consecutive Super Bowls, winning two. He would sign with the Dolphins in March of 2020, reuniting with coach Brian Flores for a season.
Over Twitter Tuesday afternoon, one of the McCourty twins reacted to Van Noy’s release with some eye ball “emojis”.
While the Patriots could certainly benefit from additional veteran leadership at the linebacker position again, our own Steve Balestrieri disagrees with any possibility of a Van Noy/Bill Belichick reunion in 2021.
Last season, the Patriots went with a much younger linebacker core following the free agency departures of veterans like Van Noy, Jamie Collins, and Elandon Roberts among others in addition to the COVID-19 opt out of Dont’a Hightower.
Rookies Josh Uche and Anfernee Jennings saw significant snaps as second-year linebacker Chase Winovich would go on to lead the team in sacks for the second straight season.
With over $60 million in cap space, it remains to be seen just what Belichick has up his sleeve when free agency opens on March 17th, but for now it appears Van Noy has a return endorsement from at least one former teammate.
Posted Under: Patriots Twitter
Tags: Anfernee Jennings Bill Belichick Chase Winovich Devin McCourty Dont'a Hightower Elandon Roberts Jamie Collins Jason McCourty Josh Uche Kyle Van Noy