The Miami Dolphins are reportedly releasing linebacker Kyle Van Noy, and rumors are already swirling that a possible reunion with the Patriots could be on the horizon.
Van Noy, 29, played with the Patriots from 2016-2019 and was a consistent and formidable presence during that span. He spent this past year with the Dolphins, and he made it clear that he expected to stay in Miami longer than one year.
“I am surprised and disappointed in their decision,” Van Noy said in a statement, as shared by NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo on Tuesday. “As a captain, I gave my all to the team. I fought through a painful hip injury during the season, including spending time 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.”
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) March 2, 2021
He said he’s looking forward to making an impact on his next team, on and off the field, and many are speculating that the Patriots are in the mix.
ESPN’s Cameron Wolfe said the move saves Miami about $9.75 million in cap space. He signed a four-year, $51-million contract last offseason.
NESN’s Doug Kyed reported that one source said “everything is on the table” when asked about a potential New England return. Van Noy, who won two Super Bowls with the Patriots, could help Dont’a Hightower – who is rejoining the team after opting out last year – fill a void at linebacker.
Kyed pointed out that the Patriots are projected to have over $60 million in salary-cap space heading into the 2021 offseason with needs at quarterback, wide receiver, tight end, defensive tackle and linebacker.
“Signing Van Noy would fix one of those holes before the start of free agency and the 2021 NFL Draft,” he wrote.
Could Kyle Van Noy return to New England?
"Everything is on the table," a source said.
— Doug Kyed (@DougKyed) March 2, 2021
The McCourty twins, Devin and Jason, quote-tweeted Garofolo’s report and added two eye emojis above a photo of Van Noy in a Patriots uniform.
— Devin&Jason McCourty (@McCourtyTwins) March 2, 2021
Van Noy tied for third among non-defensive linemen in total pressures last season (28) and registered 69 tackles and six sacks, but Wolfe described his play as “up-and-down” in 2020.
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