Some players are just built to lay for the New England Patriots, and one such defender that has flourished under Bill Belichick is linebacker Kyle Van Noy. At 250 pounds with speed and athleticism to boot, Van Noy fits Belichick’s complex defense like a glove due to his versatility.
After struggling to make a name for himself in Detroit, Van Noy ended up playing an integral role for a Patriots team that made three Super Bowls and won two during his five seasons with the club. Alongside Dont’a Hightower and Ja’Whuan Bentley, Van Noy was causing havoc.
Unfortunately, New England has goals of bolstering their depth to make sure that they can surround Mac Jones with enough talent. Despite starting consistently for most of the last decade, it appears as though Belichick is ready to turn the page on the Van Noy era.
Van Noy was released in order to save nearly $5 million in cap space. The Patriots have some very tough decisions to make with regards to which players stay and which players go, and they decided that Van Noy was not essential enough to their plan of attack for 2022 and beyond.
The New England Patriots parted ways with Kyle Van Noy.
In addition to struggling in Detroit, Van Noy found it hard to replicate his Patriots success with the Miami Dolphins. Despite playing for former Pats linebackers coach Brian Flores and putting up some impressive stats, he was cut after just one season before rejoining New England.
Van Noy recorded 66 tackles, 3.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, and an interception returned for a touchdown last season. Even if Belichick thinks he’s starting to slightly lose a step, he could be a very intriguing veteran option for anyone who runs a defense that derives from the Belichick tree.
While cutting Van Noy will save the Patriots around $5 million in cap room, there will be a $2.45 million dead money charge that will hang around the Patriots’ balance sheet this season. Still, if this helps them bring in a marquee free agent, it’s easy to see Belichick’s thought process in making this move.
Van Noy is a classic story of Belichick’s ability to develop players. He went from a player that didn’t fit in with Detroit to a valued member of multiple championship teams. With the Patriots potentially looking to use one of their top draft picks on adding a linebacker on a much cheaper contract, the time was right to turn the page on Van Noy.