Kyle Van Noy is taking his talents to South Beach.
The New England Patriots linebacker has earned a huge payday in NFL free agency with the Miami Dolphins. NFL Media's Ian Rapoport reports the two sides have agreed to a four-year, $51 millon contract.
Van Noy reportedly had drawn interest from the New York Giants and New York Jets, but he's decided to reunite with Dolphins head coach Brian Flores. Flores spent many years with the Patriots as a defensive coach before becoming Miami's head coach after New England won Super Bowl LIII.
The 28-year-old linebacker played a key role on the Patriots defense since the team acquired him from the Detroit Lions during the 2016 campaign for just a sixth-round draft pick. Van Noy tallied a career-high 6.5 sacks last season, in addition to 56 total tackles, three forced fumbles (and two fumble recoveries) and three passes defensed in 15 games. His ability to rush the passer, stuff the run or drop back in coverage made him a versatile player on Bill Belichick's defense. Van Noy helped the Patriots win Super Bowl LI and Super Bowl LIII.
The Dolphins agreed to a huge contract with the top free agent cornerback, Byron Jones, earlier on Monday. Miami came into free agency armed with more than $80 million in salary cap space and has significantly upgraded its defense at two important positions. Flores' team finished the 2019 season 5-4 after an 0-7 start, and with these upgrades (plus multiple 2020 first-round draft picks), the Dolphins could be among the most improved teams in the league next season.