2. Kyle Van Noy
All good things have to come to an end, right? Unfortunately for Kyle Van Noy, it might happen twice for him in New England.
Of course, the Patriots let Van Noy walk in free agency during the 2020 offseason and he landed on his feet in the form of a four-year, $51 million deal with the Dolphins, reuniting with former defensive coordinator Brian Flores.
Van Noy lasted just one year in Miami and he predictably returned to the Patriots on a two-year contract worth up to $13 million. Back like he never left, the eight-year pro posted 66 tackles, 10 passes defended, five sacks, two forced fumbles and an interception that he returned for a touchdown in 16 games this season.
As we’ve learned, though, the NFL is a cold business and cutting Van Noy would save the Patriots $5 million against the cap. Entering his age-31 season, it’s time for Belichick to hit the reset button at linebacker and inject some fresh blood into the second level of the defense.
The same goes for Dont’a Hightower, but we’ll save that for another time since he’s already set to enter free agency. For this exercise, though, Van Noy is a prime candidate to get to get cut this offseason.