Kyle Van Noy

Dolphins Agree To Terms With Kyle Van Noy

The Dolphins are staying busy. Miami is signing Kyle Van Noy away from the Patriots shortly after we heard the Jets were talking to the outside linebacker, according to Mike Garafolo of NFL Network (Twitter link).

In other words, almost the entire AFC East was involved in some way. It’s a big payday for Van Noy, as the Dolphins are giving him a four-year, $51MM contract, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network tweets. $30MM of that is guaranteed. Miami just gave a record-breaking contract to cornerback Byron Jones, so they’re certainly spending big to revamp their defense. The move to sign Van Noy makes plenty of sense, as he played for Dolphins head coach Brian Flores when Flores was New England’s defensive coordinator.

To that end, we’ve heard Van Noy isn’t the only former Patriot that the Dolphins will be targeting. Van Noy is the latest free agent for the Jets to miss out on, as they also failed to sign Jones and James Bradberry after expressing interest, among others. Van Noy was drafted 40th overall by the Lions in 2014, and was initially a big disappointment.

He barely played his first couple of years in the league, but began to break out after he was traded to the Pats. He had 6.5 sacks last year while being a key part of a Patriots defense that put up historic numbers for much of the year. Miami obviously wasn’t all-in on winning this past year, but after a brief rebuild they’re clearly intent on turning things around in 2020.

They overachieved with Ryan Fitzpatrick and a bunch of cast-offs in 2019, so it’ll be very interesting to see what Flores can do with all these big new pieces.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jets Talking With Kyle Van Noy

The Jets have whiffed on a bunch of big free agents they were supposedly interested in, most recently cornerback James Bradberry and Byron Jones. New York is remaining active though, and they’re “in discussions” with outside linebacker Kyle Van Noy, sources told Connor Hughes of The Athletic (Twitter link).

We heard a couple of weeks ago that the Jets were going to target top pass-rushers, and Van Noy would certainly help them get after the quarterback. The Jets haven’t had many consistent outside rushers in recent years, and they’ll likely have to pay up if they want to land the Patriots free agent. The Lions drafted Van Noy 40th overall in 2014, and the BYU product was initially a big disappointment.

He played sparingly his first two years in the league, then finally began to get some consistent playing time in 2016. Detroit flipped him to New England for a late-round pick in October of that year, and he began to thrive with the Patriots. He started 12 games in 2017, and at least 15 in each of the last two.

This past season, he had 56 tackles, 6.5 sacks, and three forced fumbles while being a very large part of a Patriots defense that was putting up historic numbers for much of the year. We’ll keep you posted if we hear anything more between these two division rivals.

 

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

East Notes: Fins, Tua, Peters, Anderson

We heard back in January that the Dolphins may pursue some of the Patriots’ top FAs, and Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald says the ‘Fins are indeed expected to go after guard Joe Thuney. Miami also has interest in Devin McCourty, Ted Karras, and Kyle Van Noy, though the extent of that interest is unclear.

Per Jackson, the Dolphins are also high on former Patriots CB Logan Ryan, who spent the last three years with the Titans. And Ryan would seriously consider joining up with Miami if the club does make an effort to sign him.

Now for more from the league’s east divisions, starting with another item out of South Beach:

  • Recent reports have suggested that the Dolphins are cooling on Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa and that the team is resigned to the fact that he will be off the board by the time they’re on the clock with the No. 5 overall pick. Jackson says Miami gave Tagovailoa the cold shoulder at the combine, but that was likely just a ploy to suggest that they’re not interested when they really are, and draft gurus Todd McShay and Daniel Jeremiah still expect the Fins to land Tagovailoa.
  • Eagles head coach Doug Pederson may want LT Jason Peters back, but the team’s brass as a whole is split as to whether to re-sign Peters or move forward with 2019 first-rounder Andre Dillard, as Albert Breer of SI.com reports. The money they save on a new Peters contract could be re-invested in the rest of the O-line, so Philly could choose to move on from the 38-year-old free agent.
  • Although Robby Anderson may find himself as the best receiver on the free agent market, the Jets are still expected to try to re-sign him. But according to Ralph Vacchiano of SNY.tv, New York will not pursue a re-up unless Anderson’s price goes no higher than $10MM per year.
  • John Keim of ESPN.com takes a stab at how the Redskins will spend their money in free agency. Unsurprisingly, he believes Washington will target CB, TE, WR, and RB.

Extra Points: Brady, Dalton, Dolphins, Lions

Tom Brady news figures to be a rather common occurrence in this unusual offseason for the 20-year Patriots passer. Set for free agency for the first time, Brady is not expected to re-sign with the Patriots before free agency opens. The Chargers have surfaced again, with Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports noting that Brady will have the Bolts atop his list — if, in fact, he decides to leave New England. This is not the first Brady-Chargers link, but JLC adds that the 42-year-old quarterback would have a short list if he did legitimately decide to test free agency. The Chargers’ Los Angeles headquarters, which have not been especially beneficial to the franchise thus far, would appeal to Brady. The future Hall of Famer holds offseason workouts at USC and has previously lived in L.A. The Chargers are set to move into their new stadium, along with the Rams. Brady would certainly help on this front, with the team struggling to generate attention in its new market.

Here is the latest from around the league:

  • Andy Dalton and new Bears offensive coordinator Bill Lazor remain close, and JLC can envision this being a factor in how the quarterback dominoes fall during what could be a complex offseason at sports’ marquee position. Dalton “loved” playing for Lazor during his time as Bengals QBs coach and OC, per JLC. Although the Bears have committed to starting Mitchell Trubisky next season, he certainly has not lived up to his No. 2 overall draft slot and could be pushed like 2015 No. 2 pick Marcus Mariota was this season.
  • Patriots free agents Devin McCourty, Joe Thuney and Kyle Van Noy will likely have many suitors. One is expected to be the Dolphins, with Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald writing that Brian Flores holds McCourty in high regard and that the team will pursue Thuney and Van Noy. All three are unrestricted free agents-to-be. Van Noy and McCourty played under Flores during his time as de facto Patriots defensive coordinator (2018), linebackers coach (2016-17) and safeties coach (2012-15). Van Noy and Thuney may price themselves out of New England.
  • Raekwon McMillan‘s 2019 season also helped sell the Dolphins on his long-term stock, Jackson adds. The Dolphins are interested in keeping the linebacker around long-term. McMillan rated as an upper-echelon linebacker, per Pro Football Focus, this season and became extension-eligible at season’s end. Under the Flores-Chris Grier setup, the Dolphins have already extended a few holdovers from the previous regime.
  • Damon Harrison revealed at the regular season’s end he is considering retirement, and the Lions are still waiting. They will likely not know Snacks’ plans for at least another few weeks, per the Detroit Free Press’ Dave Birkett. Thanks to the one-year add-on the Lions gave him in August, Harrison is under contract through 2021.
  • The Lions are expected to promote defensive assistant Steve Gregory to secondary coach, Birkett adds. The Lions hired Gregory, who played under Matt Patricia in New England, in 2018. Detroit fired DBs coach Brian Stewart after the season.

AFC Notes: Cushing, McCown, Pats

The latest from around the AFC:

  • Texans linebacker Brian Cushing earned the second PED suspension of his career Wednesday, and while he appealed the previous ban in 2010, he’s not going to fight the punishment this time. “It is with the deepest remorse, he humbly apologizes to his fans, teammates and coaches,” Cushing’s attorney, Harvey Steinberg, said. “After consulting with his attorney and his agent he felt rather than dragging the appellate process out, this would be the best way to proceed.” Cushing will sit out the Texans’ next 10 games, which means the earliest he’ll see the field again is Dec. 3 in Tennessee.
  • The roster bonuses in quarterback Josh McCown‘s contract with the Jets could make it difficult for him to keep the starting job as the season progresses, ESPN’s Adam Schefter notes. Already on a fully guaranteed $6MM salary, McCown will earn $125K for each game he starts in 2017. Given that the Jets are more likely to contend for the first overall pick in the 2018 draft than a playoff spot this season, McCown might not be long for the No. 1 role. Not only would the Jets save money by benching McCown, but they’d get a chance to evaluate one or both of their young signal-callers, Christian Hackenberg and Bryce Petty.
  • Factoring in this season, linebacker Kyle Van Noy‘s two-year extension with the Patriots amounts to a three-year, $12.87MM contract, Mike Reiss of ESPN.com writes. The deal comes with $5.5MM in guarantees, including a $3.5MM signing bonus and a fully guaranteed $2MM salary for 2018. It also features a reporting bonus ($100K) and two workout bonuses (one for $7,095, another for $25K) in 2017 and a $100K roster bonus in both 2018 and ’19.
  • The Raiders are nearing an extension with one of their top players.

Patriots, LB Kyle Van Noy Reach Extension

The Patriots are have reached a two-year extension with linebacker Kyle Van Noy, according to Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (Twitter link). Van Noy is now under New England control through 2019."<strong

Van Noy, a former second-round pick, was traded (along with a seventh-round choice) from the Lions to the Patriots midway through the 2016 season in a deal that cost New England a sixth-rounder. In seven games with the Pats, Van Noy made two starts and posted 27 tackles, one sack, and one interception. Van Noy played on 253 defensive snaps for New England, and also chipped in on special teams (58 snaps).

Because Van Noy only had one year remaining on his contract, his extension will necessarily increase his 2017 cap charge. Van Noy is scheduled to earn a base salary of roughly $990K this season.

Now in his age-26 campaign, Van Noy will continue to serve in the Patriots’ second level alongside fellow linebackers Dont’a Hightower, Elandon Roberts, and David Harris. Van Noy led New England ‘backers with 68 total snaps against the Chiefs on Thursday night.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Packers, Bills, Van Noy, Lions

Unless Packers president Mark Murphy is willing to risk losing well-regarded director of player personnel Eliot Wolf, he’ll probably have to turn the football operations over to the 34-year-old in the offseason and relegate general manager Ted Thompson to an advisory role, writes Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The Packers have been highly successful since hiring Thompson in 2005, having gone 112-73-1 with eight playoff appearances, but they’re currently 4-6 and Silverstein argues that Thompson’s free agency-avoiding approach has grown stale. Thompson, who has two years left on his contract, is also three decades older than the up-and-coming Wolf. Thus, if the Packers are sold on Wolf, promoting him soon would make sense.

More from around the NFL, which is capping off a quality slate of Thanksgiving games:

  • Bills No. 1 receiver Sammy Watkins hasn’t seen the field since Week 2 on account of a foot injury, but it appears he’ll return Sunday against Jacksonville. “As long as there’s not another setback or anything like that, I feel pretty good about him playing,” head coach Rex Ryan said Thursday (via Mike Rodak of ESPN.com). Watkins, whom the Bills designated to return from injured reserve Wednesday, will only be available on a limited basis if he does play Sunday. Nevertheless, his presence will be a welcome one for a wideout-needy Buffalo team that likely won’t have Robert Woods in its lineup because of a knee ailment.
  • On the heels of a 25-sack college career at BYU, the Lions selected linebacker Kyle Van Noy in the second round of the 2014 draft. Van Noy amassed just one sack in 30 games with the Lions, though, and they traded him to the Patriots last month for a late-round pick. In his Pats debut last week, Van Noy picked up 29 snaps and a sack in a win over the 49ers, and he admitted Thursday that his Detroit tenure was frustrating because the club seldom used him as a pass rusher. “Oh yeah, who wouldn’t be when you did that your whole college career and then all of a sudden you’re not allowed to, or they don’t want you to,” he told Ryan Hannable of WEEI.
  • There were conflicting reports on Thursday afternoon regarding the Redskins’ willingness to place the franchise tag on quarterback Kirk Cousins again in the offseason. That was before Cousins completed 41 of 53 passes for 453 yards and three touchdowns in a 31-26 loss to Dallas. Cousins is amid a late-season tear for the second straight year.
  • Speaking of the Cowboys, who are an NFL-best 10-1, second-round linebacker Jaylon Smith won’t make his debut this season.

AFC Notes: Murray, Colts, RGIII

Let’s take a quick swing around the AFC:

  • Titans RB DeMarco Murray had an MRI on his toe after Thursday night’s victory over Jacksonville, and the prognosis is good, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter). Rapoport’s source indicated that Murray will be fine.
  • Kevin Bowen of Colts.com believes that Colts TE Jack Doyle has established himself as a starting-caliber tight end, and that his free agent platform year has come at a perfect time for him. Bowen says Doyle will be one of Indianapolis’ most important free agents this offseason and that he could pull down a contract with a $5MM average annual value.
  • Colts DE Kendall Langford, who has the the longest active games-played streak among all NFL defensive linemen (135), will see that streak come to an end, according to Andrew Walker of Colts.com. Langford continues to deal with a right knee issue that required minor surgery during training camp, and he will sit out an indeterminate amount of time to give that knee a chance to fully heal.
  • Neema Hodjat of OverTheCap.com examines what a potential extension for Raiders QB Derek Carr might look like. This is Carr’s third year in the league, so he will be eligible to receive an extension at the end of this season. Assuming he continues to play at a high level, Carr should command a five-year deal worth upwards of $110MM, according to Hodjat. And the Raiders, who have done a terrific job managing the salary cap in recent years, will be able to shell out that kind of money without much hesitation.
  • Browns QB Robert Griffin III does not need surgery at this time, so he could possibly return somewhere between the November 20 game against the Steelers and the Dececmber 11 matchup against the Bengals after the bye week, according to Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Cabot believes the Browns should get RGIII some action this year if possible, as they have to decide if they need to draft a quarterback in April.
  • Ben Volin of the Boston Globe opines that the Patriots‘ recent trades for Kyle Van Noy and Eric Rowe indicate that the team is preparing for significant free agent losses this offseason. Both players are under club control through at least 2017, and they are playing on fairly inexpensive deals. Van Noy will serve as insurance should one or both of Jamie Collins and Dont’a Hightower depart in free agency, and Rowe will offset the potential losses of Malcolm Butler and/or Logan Ryan.
  • Volin tweets that Jacoby Brissett could be the Patriots‘ one player to return from IR this season.

Lions Trade LB Kyle Van Noy To Patriots

The Lions have traded linebacker Kyle Van Noy to the Patriots, according to Field Yates and James Walker of ESPN.com (on Twitter). The deal will send Van Noy and a seventh-round pick to New England in exchange for a sixth-round pick (link)."<strong

Van Noy was believed to be on the chopping block in Detroit after the draft. The Lions kept him on the roster, but they have opted to move him for a modest return mid-season. Van Noy, the Lions‘ second-round pick in 2014, had half of his rookie season wiped out by a stint on injured reserve. Since then, he has not been 100% healthy and his surgically-repaired hip has continued to hamper him. Still, the BYU product started all seven of the Lions’ games this season, totaling 23 tackles and one pass defended.

After the trade, the Patriots are now deeper than ever at linebacker. Behind starters Dont’a Hightower, Jamie Collins, and Elandon Roberts, the Pats have linebacker/defensive end Ninkovich, Shea McClellin, Barkevious Mingo, and now Van Noy. There’s also Jonathan Freeny who could be brought back from IR late in the season.

The Lions are left somewhat thin at linebacker, but that could change when/if linebacker Jon Bostic is brought back from IR. Detroit should also get DeAndre Levy back soon.

This isn’t the first time that Lions GM Bob Quinn has worked out a trade with his former employers in New England. Earlier this year, the Lions acquired Bostic in a swap with the Patriots.

After beating the Redskins on Sunday, the Lions now stand at 4-3 as they prepare for the Texans on Sunday. The Patriots, meanwhile, are 6-1 with the rival Bills on the docket.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Bradford, Jets, Giants, Falcons, Lions

Given quarterback Sam Bradford‘s unhappiness in Philadelphia, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk examined the seemingly far-fetched possibility of the 28-year-old retiring – at least temporarily. Bradford would have to surrender the $11MM signing bonus he received from the Eagles earlier this offseason if he were to walk away, but he would offset that loss somewhat by avoiding any fines or forfeitures that would accompany a potential holdout.

The appeal of retiring from Bradford’s point of view is that he could wait for another team’s starting quarterback to suffer an injury, whether it be this year or in 2017, thus leading that club to approach the Eagles about a trade. It would be similar to the situation Carson Palmer found himself in five years ago as a disgruntled member of the Bengals. Early in the 2011 season, the Raiders lost starter Jason Campbell to an injury and then made a trade with the Bengals to bring Palmer out of his short-lived retirement.

Most teams’ starting quarterback situations are set right now, and the Eagles haven’t shown a willingness to move Bradford in the wake of trading up to No. 2 in the draft for Carson Wentz and signing Chase Daniel, so Florio opines that retirement could be his most sensible option.

Here’s more from around the NFL:

  • There was potential for a New York-New York trade in the first round of last week’s draft, according to the New York Daily News’ Gary Myers, who reports that the Jets offered their first- (20th overall) and second-rounders to the Giants for No. 10. The Jets had their sights set on Ole Miss offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil, but the Giants didn’t want to move down and risk losing out on Ohio State cornerback Eli Apple. Had the Giants accepted the Jets’ offer, they would have either taken TCU wideout Josh Doctson or the best cornerback available (likely Houston’s William Jackson III) at No. 20, per Myers. Doctson ultimately went 22nd to Washington and Jackson landed with the Bengals two picks later. Meanwhile, instead of nabbing Tunsil, the Jets kept their top two picks and used them on Ohio State linebacker Darron Lee and Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg.
  • The Falcons are currently mulling whether to sign free agent cornerback Leon Hall, who visited them this week, reports Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com. Hall would add depth to a Falcons defensive backfield in need of it, especially given the four-game suspension the league handed Jalen Collins, as McClure writes. The ex-Michigan standout’s entire NFL career has thus far been spent in Cincinnati, where he totaled 26 interceptions from 2007-15, though it doesn’t appear he’ll return to the Bengals. Aside from the Falcons, Hall has also visited the Giants, Cardinals and Cowboys this offseason, but his age (31) and injury history (he has torn both Achilles) are seemingly working against him in landing a contract.
  • With the draft in the books, Kyle Meinke of MLive.com took a look at six Lions veterans whose jobs could now be in jeopardy. Meinke points to quarterback Dan Orlovsky, center Travis Swanson, offensive tackle Cornelius Lucas, linebacker Kyle Van Noy, defensive tackle Gabe Wright and long snapper Don Muhlbach as players who aren’t locks to remain in the Motor City.