At this time last year, it seemed the Giants and linebacker Kyle Van Noy might be a match. It did not happen. Now, the Giants have another shot at him and, given Joe Judge’s familiarity with Van Noy from their days together with the Patriots, you never know.
After what appeared to be a successful first year in Miami, Van Noy is expected to be released, assuming the Dolphins can not find a trade partner. The news Tuesday caught most of the NFL by surprise.
Van Noy confirmed this expected break with the Dolphins, in a statement to NFL Network: “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 in 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 Giants could not have afforded to trade for Van Noy, 29, because he is only one year into a four-year, $51 million contract that guaranteed him $30 million. Van Noy’s salary of $12.5 million in 2021 was to become fully guaranteed on March 19 and the Dolphins will save $9.75 million on the salary cap by letting him go.
At inside linebacker, Blake Martinez is coming off a sensational first season with the Giants, but they could use another versatile linebacker. Devante Downs and rookie Tae Crowder shared the role alongside Martinez in 2020.
Van Noy can play on the edge or off the line. In his one year with the Dolphins, he had 69 tackles, six sacks, 10 quarterback hits, two fumble recoveries and two forced fumbles in 14 games. The Dolphins are expected to replace him on a full-time basis with Andrew Van Ginkel, a third-year player from Wisconsin.
Van Noy and Judge spent four seasons together (2016-2019) in New England, winning two Super Bowls. Van Noy had 16.5 sacks and 35 quarterback hits in 51 games for the Patriots.
After Judge was hired last year, Van Noy expressed interest in coming to the Giants. Perhaps a connection can be made the second time around.