Time and again players are reminded the NFL is a business. The Miami Dolphins are the latest team to send that memo and the recipient of the moment is linebacker Kyle Van Noy, who was informed by the team he would be released, per Mike Garafolo of NFL Network. It's a decision that outright stunned the two-time Super Bowl winner, who made that clear not long following the news being made public.
"I am surprised and disappointed in their decision," Van Noy told Garafolo. "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 move will clear $9.775 million in cap space for the Dolphins, owners of approximately $28.08 million in cap space based upon the agreed upon floor of $180 million. That number might increase if the final 2021 salary cap figure goes north, but the Dolphins aren't waiting around to find out if that'll be the case. It's also been reported they did not approach Van Noy with an option to rework his current deal, per Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald -- a four-year, $51 million contract signed just one year ago -- instead opting to cut him loose entirely despite his deal including $30 million in guaranteed money.
And with that, the one-year reunion with Brian Flores has come to an end, but Van Noy now gets the chance to find a new NFL home ahead of the free agency spending spree. He logged 13 starts for the Dolphins in 2020 and delivered 69 combined tackles (46 solo) along with six pass deflections and six sacks. It's unlikely he'll be unemployed for long, but he never expected to be unemployed at all this offseason.