Dolphins Cut Kyle Van Noy

3/10/21, 3:07pm: After failing to find a trade partner, the Dolphins have now officially cut Van Noy, they announced on Wednesday.

3/2/21, 1:25pm: Not so fast. This transaction is not expected to commence immediately. Miami is now expected to first attempt to trade Van Noy, Ian Rapoport of notes (video link). While Van Noy has been an effective pass rusher under Flores and Bill Belichick, moving a $12.75MM-per-year contract will be difficult in this cap climate.

12:59pm: The Dolphins are set to release linebacker Kyle Van Noy, according to Mike Garafolo of (on Twitter). The linebacker joined the Dolphins on a four-year, $51MM deal just last year.

I am surprised and disappointed in their decision,” Van Noy said in a statement confirming the news. “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 o my next team, on and off the field.”

Van Noy barely played his first couple of years in the league. Then, he broke out after the Lions traded him to the Patriots. In 2019, he notched 6.5 sacks and served as a key part of the Patriots’ defense. Even though the Dolphins weren’t positioned as contenders in 2020, they saw Van Noy as a long-term cornerstone.

The veteran logged 69 tackles, six sacks, two forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries in 14 games for the Dolphins. However, he was the victim of the team’s cap crunch. Rather than carrying his $13.9MM hit, they’ll save approximately $9.78MM on the books. Van Noy’s 2021 salary would have become fully guaranteed on Day 3 of the 2021 league year.

Miami revamped its pass rush by signing Van Noy, Shaq Lawson and Emmanuel Ogbah last year. The signings helped Brian Flores‘ team contend for the playoffs in one of the more competitive years in AFC history. But with the salary cap expected to be reduced for the 2021 league year, teams are being forced to shed veterans at a higher-than-usual rate. While the Dolphins did not necessarily need to make this move, having $22MM-plus in cap space coming into Tuesday, they will create considerable funds in a buyer’s market by doing so.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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16 comments on “Dolphins Cut Kyle Van Noy

  1. Mjm117

    I understand the decision from a production vs salary standpoint but from a leadership standpoint this was a very surprising cut. And It might not sit well with the Team. But in Flores we Trust.

    I wish Van Noy well. Van Ginkel era has begun!

    Van Noy could be the first of many similar type cuts throughout the league, especially during this offseason with the cap being so low.

  2. CoachWe

    I was just predicting the other day that that they would try to shed that contract. And there will be others. This decreasing Cap is freaking teams out. Expecting 220 mil Cap & having it drop to 183 mil is an issue.

  3. CoachWe

    Another high profile LB with a similar deal is Dante’ Hightower. The Pats need a MLB bad, but I bet they release him. With so many decent players about to get released, others can be signed for less..

  4. ch050995

    Trade him for Preston smith straight up. Or if packers have to throw in a 4th or 5th

  5. Tmandolfan

    Chris Grier is the reason why the Dolphins can’t have nice things. Dude’s gotta go!

      • Ak185

        That’s just…wrong. You could argue money concerns or what not, but Van Noy is certainly no bust.

  6. andremets

    There is rule in the AFC East that everyone must play only for AFC East teams so I expect Van to end up on the Jets who wanted him last year.

  7. Ak185

    This is surprising. I get the monetary concerns, I do, but the Dolphins are not yet in the position where they can be cutting quality leaders who can produce. They need to prove that their system and winning culture are strong enough to sustain the losses of good players before running them out due to cap concerns. They look good now, but they’re not a contender just yet.

    I suppose they think this is good room to make moves in free agency, but as an observer this seems like a misguided move to shed a productive locker room leader while still in the process of building a team. I hope Miami does not underestimate the value of locker room leaders (especially those who can contribute on the field) to a team building an identity. Guys like Van Noy are not just versatile on the field (which he was), but also set the tone for newer players for what is expected and can also show it on the field through their own play, which can only elevate the team long-term. Winning culture is the most underestimated part of a team sport-I just hope, for their fans’ sakes, that the Dolphins aren’t just making a knee-jerk decision due to cap space.

    • CoachWe

      I agree with your take, especially the locker room leadership. I wonder if they are working on a larger deal (Russ or Watson). Need to clear Cap space to do this.

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