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 NFL.com 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.
“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.