Adding Kyle Van Noy Would Complete Green Bay’s Linebacker Makeover
After being cut in a surprising move from the Miami Dolphins, Kyle Van Noy is looking for a new home and if Green Bay wants to keep up its streak of consecutive NFC Championship appearances they should seriously consider enlisting his services for the 2022 campaign.
Drafted by the Detroit Lions in the 2nd round in 2014, Kyle Van Noy was and has been well regarded within the league for his versatility and leadership. He was a stalwart for the New England Patriots during the last few years, helping to anchor one of the league’s top defenses and win a few Lombardi trophies under the tutelage of Bill Belichick and the rest of the defensive staff. For a few years that included Brian Flores, so it was of little surprise when Van Noy signed to Miami the last offseason to be reunited with his former defensive coordinator for a whooping 4 year $51 million deal.
A team captain, Van Noy was very productive last year and earned a 61.9 PFF grade last season. So it was a fairly big surprise when the Miami Dolphins decided to cut Van Noy earlier this month after trying to trade him but being unable to come up with a suitor with an offer they found convincing.
His salary last season was $12.5 million and while I am sure that he would like to keep it at the same level, this off-season has shown to be unique in that for the first time in a while, this is not a “buyers” market for free agents. Every team has been shedding cap like crazy and Van Noy seems to be a victim of his own success in that his price tag was simply too much for the Dolphins to swallow with a new salary cap.
However, their loss could be the Packers gain…for the right price of couse.
The Packers are in their own salary cap nightmare, currently sitting over 9 million above the cap at the time of this writing. While more cost-cutting moves will be coming (including a likely restructuring of Aaron Rodgers and Preston Smiths contracts as well as potential extensions for Davante Adams and Za’Darius Smith), the Packers will be hard-pressed to put up the free agency money needed to compete for a player the quality of Kyle Van Noy.
That being said- where there’s a will, there’s a way. Kyle Van Noy is a proven leader and has played for both terrible teams (the Lions) as well as for one of the greatest dynasties in modern profession sports (Patriots) and most recently was the leader for a resurgent unit that will be looking to dominate for the foreseeable future (Dolphins). Given the relative inexperience of the Packers current inside linebacker core and the recent departure of Christian Kirksey, Kyle Van Noy can help bring stability and give new defensive coordinator Joe Barry a safety blanket for a position group that hasn’t had consistent success since the last time the Packers were successful in their last game of the seaseon.
Brian Gutenkunst has shown a willingness to attack positions of weakness aggressively and after drafting Kamal Martin and Khrys Barnes who look to play a bigger role this upcoming year, he can complete the turnaround of the Packers linebacking corp with a marquee signing of Kyle Van Noy.
——————Joe Kelley is a lifelong Packer fan born in Wisconsin and currently living surrounded by Patriots fans in New England- please send messages of support to @Jkelleylol on Twitter or @j.k.lolz on Instagram.