Ex-Patriots linebacker Kyle Van Noy joins Dolphins in NFL free agency

One of the leaders for the New England Patriots defense the past few seasons, Kyle Van Noy, has agreed to join the division rival Miami Dolphins.

Even if it was largely expected, the departure of New England Patriots linebacker Kyle Van Noy in unrestricted free agency on Monday still hurts all the same.

According to Bleacher Report’s Mike Chiari, Van Noy agreed to terms on a four-year deal with the Miami Dolphins that is worth $51 million.

It’s a massive payday for Van Noy, who was an afterthought for most of his initial career with the Detroit Lions before a midseason trade to the Patriots a little over three years ago did wonders for his reputation. Since being acquired by New England and falling under the tutelage of Bill Belichick, Van Noy has established himself as one of the most versatile, dependable defensive players in the NFL.

He now gets to show off his talents in front of an entirely new fanbase down in South Beach. Van Noy will be reuniting with his former de facto defensive coordinator with the Pats, Brian Flores, who left New England following the team’s sixth Super Bowl victory to become the head coach of the Dolphins this time last year.

The Dolphins under Flores were expected to be one of the worst teams in the league, and for the first few games of the season, that appeared to be the case. In fact, after back-to-back drubbings at home by the Baltimore Ravens and the Antonio Brown-led Patriots, many wondered if the Dolphins were destined — or doomed — to go down as the worst team in NFL history.

Despite all that, Miami proved to be quite frisky after making an in-season quarterback switch from Josh Rosen to Ryan Fitzpatrick. The ageless, beaded, Harvard grad kept the Fins relevant and staked them to a 5-11 record — good enough for last place in the AFC East, yes, but still a far cry from being the worst team in the history of professional football.

Van Noy will also team up with new additions Byron Jones (formerly of the Dallas Cowboys) and Shaq Lawson (formerly of the Buffalo Bills). Jones is one of the best cornerbacks in the league, and Lawson is a former first-round draft pick who is still ascending into his stardom as one of the NFL’s better defensive ends and pass rushers.

Together, this new trio should pave the way for a defensive resurgence down in Miami.

The Patriots should take note and be on notice. These Dolphins — who shocked the Patriots in Foxborough last season in Week 17 — might be troublesome come 2020.