Kyle Van Noy is the latest veteran heading to the loaded AFC West. The 31-year-old linebacker has signed with the Los Angeles Chargers after meeting with the club earlier Thursday.
The Patriots released Van Noy on March 7 after he signed a two-year deal to return to the organization last offseason. He played 16 games (eight starts) in 2021 and logged 75% of the defensive snaps, which was the sixth-highest total on the team. Van Noy finished last season with 66 tackles, two forced fumbles, and five sacks (second-most on the team).
This was Van Noy's second stint with New England after he spent four seasons as a key starter for Bill Belichick's defense from 2016 to 2019. Over that stretch, he was a part of two Super Bowl-winning teams with the Patriots, which led to him being named to the franchise's All-Decade Team for the 2010s.
Meanwhile, the Chargers have made him the latest addition to a defense they are looking to improve from last season, when they ranked 26th in DVOA. Already, L.A. had poached All-Pro cornerback J.C. Jackson from New England at the start of free agency, agreeing to a five-year, $82.5 million deal. Not only has Brandon Staley's team tapped into well in Foxborough, but they also struck a massive deal to land pass-rusher Khalil Mack from the Chicago Bears and just recently signed veteran cornerback Bryce Callahan.
The addition of Van Noy is just the latest move by the Chargers to bolster their defense in what is set to be arguably the most competitive division in the NFL in 2022.