Salary cap casualties are a common occurrence during the NFL offseason. However, the first of the season came as a shock to executives inside the league and the player himself. The Dolphins announced Tuesday morning that they would be releasing linebacker Kyle Van Noy.
The first significant release of the season, the release was a purely financial move from the Dolphins. Van Noy was one year into a four-year, $51 million deal that he signed in March 2020. The release saves the Dolphins $9.75 million in cap space. The deal was structured, so the Dolphins could get out of the contract after just one season without taking a significant dead cap hit. Miami only takes on $4.125 million in dead money as a result of the release.
It is an unfortunate break for Van Noy, who would have made a significant amount of money had he been on the roster on the roster to begin the season. According to Brad Spielberger of PFF, Van Noy’s 2021 base salary of $12.5 million was set to become fully guaranteed had he been on the roster on the fifth day of the upcoming season. Van Noy now loses the entirety of that salary.
Van Noy produced well last season, finishing with 10 tackles for loss in 14 games played. The former Patriots linebacker was one of only four league players to finish the season with at least 65 tackles and 6 sacks. Van Noy was disappointed with the Dolphins’ decision, releasing a statement on Twitter following the release.
Van Noy was a leader on the Patriots defense for multiple years before joining the Dolphins. Van Noy will have no problem finding a new home before the start of next season.