There's a newly-available LB if Washington is interested


The NFL's linebacker market is now one well-regarded name deeper, a development that has surely reached the radar of Washington's decision makers.

On Tuesday, the Dolphins informed Kyle Van Noy that he'd be released if they can't first find a trade partner for him. In other words, he’s available if anyone’s interested. 

The soon-to-be 30-year-old was a major signing for Miami last offseason, when he agreed to a contract with $30 million in guaranteed cash. His tenure there is about to end one way or another after a single campaign, though.

Here's what he had to say to NFL Network's Mike Garafolo once the news hit the media:

"I am surprised and disappointed in their decision. As a captain, I gave my all to the team. I fought through a painful hip injury during the season, including spending a night 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. I am looking forward to making an impact on my next team, on and off the field."

The defender won two Super Bowls in New England before switching franchises within the AFC East, and it's not like he's declined in any noticeable way. In 2020, Van Noy recorded almost 70 combined tackles, six sacks, two forced fumbles and six pass deflections in 14 contests. His pedigree and production are no doubt appealing. 


Now, let's discuss how this impacts the Burgundy and Gold.

As fans are aware of by now, Ron Rivera and Jack Del Rio want better linebackers. Those two leaders will often dodge questions about what upgrades they'd like on the roster, but linebacker is one spot where they were both very clear in their desire for reinforcements. 

With that in mind, Van Noy represents an intriguing target for Washington. They could try to emerge as the other half in a swap for the veteran — and with the Dolphins making it known that they're ready to part ways with him, the compensation shouldn't be too hefty — or just wait Miami out and hope he hits the free-agent market. 

It's also worth mentioning that Washington's new general manager, Martin Mayhew, was handling the same role in Detroit's front office when they selected Van Noy in the second round of the 2014 draft. So, the organization should be familiar with his talents in addition to the need they have for someone like him.

This part of the football calendar can be maddening, with every website that covers a team writing a story focused on why a particular player makes sense for the squad in their backyard. There's no way a pro is a fit everywhere, even if the Internet wants to convince you that's the case. 

When it comes to Van Noy, however, there appears to be some actual logic behind connecting him to Washington. Now it's on Washington to determine if it wants to take things further and make a transaction to nab him.