Dolphins to Release Van Noy; Should Pats Bring Him Back?

Dolphins will release Kyle Van Noy; should Patriots bring him back? originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Kyle Van Noy's tenure with the Miami Dolphins is about to end.

The veteran linebacker signed a four-year, $51 million contract with the Miami Dolphins in NFL free agency last year following a three-and-a-half year run with the New England Patriots that included two Super Bowl titles.

NFL Media's Mike Garafolo reported Tuesday that the Dolphins will release Van Noy, who later confirmed the news in a statement.

This move will help the Dolphins open up some valuable salary cap space. Van Noy had a $12.5 million salary that became fully guaranteed on March 19. 

Should the Patriots try to work out a reunion with Van Noy?

For starters, the Patriots do need to upgrade at linebacker. Rookie linebackers Josh Uche and Anfernee Jennings showed flashes of their exciting potential and talent in 2020, but a stronger veteran presence is needed. The return of linebacker Dont'a Hightower will help in that regard, but the Patriots would be wise to add at least another veteran at the position. Van Noy's knowledge of the Patriots defense is a plus.

Van Noy played well in 2020, helping the Dolphins improve defensively and nearly make the playoffs. He tallied 69 tackles, six sacks, 10 QB hits, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries in 14 games. 

He's still a very good player, and the Patriots would be wise to pursue him in free agency. They probably wouldn't be the only team interested in signing Van Noy, though. Any contender with Super Bowl aspirations or rebuilding team looking for a culture change should explore the idea of signing Van Noy this offseason.

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