Kyle Van Noy is heading into free agency and his play over the last couple of seasons has probably earned him a big day. But, where does that leave him with the New England Patriots?
The New England Patriots are heading into what could be seen as one of the most significant offseasons that they've had in about 10 years.
The Patriots have a long laundry list full of free agents, and Bill Belichick is going to have to make some really tough decisions. When we look at the Patriots salary cap that New England has left, its going to be absolutely impossible for Bill Belichick to sign everybody.
Topping that list of course is Tom Brady, but I think coming in a very close second is Kyle Van Noy. Though he's expressing that he wants to return to the New England Patriots, I think it's going to be very difficult for all of us to figure out exactly what the Patriots 2020 roster is going to look like, and I believe that heading into next season we're going to be seeing a very different looking Patriots team.
The biggest issue about trying to bring back Kyle Van Noy back to the Patriots is, his value will never be higher than it's going to be this offseason. Van Noy is coming off the best season of his career, he was a leader and an anchor on the best linebacking Corps in the NFL, and he recorded career-high numbers. Van Noy finished the season with 6.5 sacks, 15 quarterback hits, and three forced fumbles.
Van Noy has come a long way since his days with the Detroit Lions, and regardless of what happens this offseason, the trade that Bill Belichick made for Kyle Van Noy in 2016 could go down as one of the top five trades in Belichick's career.
Van Noy's brash commentary and ruthless aggression on the field has made him a fan favourite amongst Pat's Nation. I think if it were up to all of us Kyle Van Noy would be returning to New England. It also appears that if it were up to Kyle Van Noy he would be returning to New England. During an interview on Friday he expressed his love for the city and for the franchise that saved his career and gave him two Super Bowl championships. He also made it clear that New England is his home and he would love to finish his career with the New England Patriots.
“For me personally, I want to do what’s best for my family and I would love to stay in New England,” Van Noy said. “It’s going to be home forever. I won Super Bowls there now, the fans have embraced me like their own, I feel like I’m a Bostonian at heart. The food, the culture, everything. I’m in it with them when I go to the Bruins games, the Celtics games, so I’m very, very confident in regards to staying at home. That would be an honor to finish out my career with the New England Patriots."
As a fan of the New England Patriots hearing those kind of words gives you a very optimistic feeling, because any time you hear a player talk that positive about a team,l and a community it makes you think that he and the franchise can make something happen.
But let's not fool ourselves.
Football is a business and I wouldn't be holding your breath hoping that Kyle Van Noy is willing to take a hometown discount just to stay with the Patriots.
Van Noy is at a point in his life that he has a young family, and as much as he loves New England, his play this season has dictated that he's probably due for a big payday. Van Noy may feel like an honorary Bostonian, but business is business, and unfortunately in the NFL money will always come first. Even though from a football perspective the grass may not be greener with another team, a lot of times other franchises around the NFL can offer greener money than the Patriots can, and that may just be the case this season, and Van Noy knows it.
“But, at the end of the day, it’s a business. I feel like my game has been very consistent the last couple of years and I want to continue that if it’s with [the Patriots] or with someone else.”
the key phrases I took out of that quote was "it's a business" and "continue on if it's with the Patriots or with someone else". Kyle Van Noy has to know that he will probably never have a better opportunity to cash in and make a lot of money then he has this offseason. To me, even though it seems like Van Noy wants to stay loyal to the Patriots, it also sounds like he's mentally prepared to move on if he has to, and looking at everything the Patriots have to address this offseason and some of the cheaper options that could be out there, I think there's a better chance the Kyle Van Noy is playing for somebody else next year and not the Patriots.
Come April, the Patriots defense could have some huge holes that Bill Belichick will have to try to fill with roll guys. Linebacker Jamie Collins and Safety Devin McCourty are also free agents. There is a very real possibility that all three guys could be playing for different teams next season. Even though I think most of us trust Bill Belichick, and believe that he will find a way to overcome this kind of turnover. I also don't blame any Patriots fans who may be a little bit nervous heading into the 2020 season with a very different-looking defense.
Van Noy's career really changed in 2016 when he joined the Patriots, but he also had a big effect on the Patriots defense. He brought consistent play, he was a huge part of the Patriots two Super Bowl championships, and their Super Bowl appearance against the Philadelphia Eagles. Even though Van Noy probably sits atop the priority list the Patriots, and they wanted to bring him back. The Patriots may not have the means to do it. The Patriots are tight to the cap, they have about $30 million to spend, and they have to sign a lot of players and address some key areas of the team.
New England still has to find a way to re-sign Tom Brady. They need to try and find another big-name receiver. They have to address the tight end situation. The offensive line could still be a problem next season, and frankly a good chunk of money needs to go towards improving the Patriots offense. By doing that they may have to reduce some of the production that they got from their defense this season, and unfortunately one of those reductions could be and probably will be Kyle Van Noy.