Kyle Van Noy was recently informed by the Dolphins of their plans to release him. And after reportedly trying to find a trade partner, Miami has ultimately decided to release the veteran linebacker. The Dolphins have cleared $9.775 million in cap space by releasing Van Noy, who was just one year into a four-year, $51 million contract.
The Dolphins did not discuss a possible restructure of Van Noy's contract, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. Van Noy was paid $15 million for one season of work.
"I am surprised and disappointed in their decision," Van Noy said of his breakup with the Dolphins. "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 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."
The reduced salary cap likely hindered the Dolphins' odds at finding the right trade partner. Before the pandemic, the 2021 salary cap projection would have likely been around $210 million, according to CBS NFL writer and former agent Joel Corry. The NFL announced Wednesday that the cap will be $182.5 million. Given the condensed salary cap, teams are being forced to make difficult personnel decisions when it comes to their in-house free agents.
Whoever gets Van Noy will get a productive player who should still have plenty of quality football ahead of him. Van Noy, who will turn 30 on March 26, tallied 69 tackles, six sacks, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries during his lone season with the Dolphins. A two-time Super Bowl champion with the Patriots, Van Noy is also hailed as a high-character individual who brings veteran leadership to the locker room.
Possible teams that may be interested in Van Noy include the Panthers, Lions (Van Noy's first NFL team), Packers, Chiefs, Rams, Eagles, and Buccaneers. The Panthers have the most cap space among these teams.