Patriots

Here’s what Kyle Van Noy said about his release by the Patriots this spring

"I'll always be a Patriot — there’s no denying that."

Kyle Van Noy Patriots
New England Patriots linebacker Kyle Van Noy (53) celebrates with teammates after sacking Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. AP Photo/Lynne Sladky
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The Patriots’ quest to get younger and faster on defense in 2022 came at a cost, with several experienced championship-winning players heading out of Foxborough.

Kyle Van Noy was one of them: New England released the 31-year-old linebacker in March after a solid season in which he had 27 pressures, five sacks, and one interception, which he returned for a touchdown.

During an appearance on The Pat McAfee Show, Van Noy said he wasn’t entirely surprised by the move: “I had a feeling just because (of) how people were moving behind the scenes there,” he said on Friday.

This also isn’t the first time the Patriots have moved on from Van Noy, whom New England let slip away to Miami after the 2019 season on a one-year deal before re-signing him in 2021.

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This time, the veteran pass-rusher has signed a free-agent deal with the Los Angeles Chargers, joining a stacked defense that also includes Khalil Mack and Joey Bosa, along with star quarterback Justin Herbert on offense.

But the business side of Van Noy’s football relationship with Bill Belichick and the Patriots clearly hasn’t dampened his love and respect for the team with which he’s won two Super Bowl rings.

“The one thing I love about that place is the respect that Bill (Belichick) has for me and the respect that I have for Bill,” he said on the show. “Being communicative about it, being honest and upfront, whether I agree with it or not.”

Van Noy’s competitive streak did come out a bit in the interview as he discussed his exit from New England, with him saying he’s “made a defense better” everywhere he’s gone and that teams have “gotten worse” every time he leaves.

He similarly held a slight grudge against the Dolphins after they didn’t re-sign him in 2021 and clearly showed some extra emotion in the Patriots’ two contests against them last season. (The Patriots don’t play the Los Angeles Chargers this coming regular season, so we won’t get to see a potential Van Noy revenge game unless it’s in the playoffs.)

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But he also reiterated his respect for Belichick, Patriots owner Robert Kraft —affectionately referred to as “RKK” — and the organization as he prepares to play for his new team, which could be a Super Bowl contender in 2022.

“I’ll always be a Patriot — there’s no denying that. But I’m definitely a Charger, and…I want to be remembered as both.”

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