There was a common theme among the former Patriot players who departed this week in free agency.
Six different free agents elected to leave New England and sign with a team coached by an ex-Patriots assistant. In fact, Tom Brady was the only free agent who didn’t follow that path.
Here are the free agents, excluding Brady, who left the Patriots and where they ended up.
Kyle Van Noy, Dolphins
A key cog at the linebacker position for two Super Bowl runs, Van Noy signed a four-year, $51 million deal with Miami on Tuesday. He’ll reunite with former Patriots defensive coordinator Brian Flores, who is in entering his second year as head coach of the Dolphins after 15 seasons on the New England staff.
Elandon Roberts, Dolphins
Roberts played just 20 percent of the defensive snaps at linebacker in 2019 and was used at fullback later in the season. He signed a one-year deal worth $3 million to join Van Noy on the Miami defense.
Ted Karras, Dolphins
Karras started 15 games games at guard last season in David Andrews’ absence. Andrews is hopeful to return in 2020, which would have bumped Karras to a backup role. Instead, he inked a one-year, $4 million deal with the Dolphins.
Jamie Collins, Lions
Collins excelled in his first year back with the Patriots in 2019, recording 81 tackles and three interceptions. He’ll reunite with Matt Patricia, his defensive coordinator for four seasons with the Patriots, in Detroit on a three-year, $30 million deal.
Danny Shelton, Lions
Shelton will join a Lions defensive line that features former Patriot star Trey Flowers under Patricia. Shelton’s deal with Detroit is for two years and $8 million. Safety Duron Harmon was also traded to the Lions this week.
Nate Ebner, Giants
The special teams ace agreed to a deal with the Giants, where he’ll team up with first-year head coach Joe Judge. Judge served as Ebner’s special team coach for eight seasons in New England.