Kyle Van Noy is the kind of high-energy, motor-driven, veteran player Jon Gruden loves. Oh, and he’s also a stout EDGE rusher and off-the-ball linebacker.
While the world talks about the Las Vegas Raiders pursuing another New England Patriots free agent, the player in Boston right now general manager Mike Mayock and head coach Jon Gruden should be planning to chase plays on the other side of the ball and his name is Kyle Van Noy.
Van Noy, the seven-year NFL veteran, Super Bowl champion, BYU alumnus, and Reno, NV. native, is an unrestricted free agent and the Raiders have a tremendous need at linebacker and on the EDGE. Van Noy not only is one of the top players at his position, but his veteran leadership would be a welcome plus coming to Las Vegas.
Versatility and Reliability
One of the only nocks on Kyle Van Noy tends to be his pass-rushing numbers – particularly sacks. But when you consider he has played off-the-ball most of his NFL career, his numbers stack up pretty well. Not only that, when Bill Belichick made him an EDGE rusher in New England for 2019, he stepped up and notched 6.5 sacks and 60 QB pressures, ranking him in the Top 25 on the Pro Football Focus Top 101 Players of 2019 list.
It’s the versatility of Van Noy which makes him a nice fit in Las Vegas. Gruden and defensive coordinator Paul Guenther can use him at the OLB position, where he ranks among the best against the run.
Even when playing off-the-ball, Van Noy was still able to record 36 pressures in just 275 pass-rush snaps. PFF also ranks him as a Top 5 run defender and his ability to stuff the run would only build on a Top 10 run-stop defense in Las Vegas.
Guenther can stick Van Noy in on the EDGE, his newly found go-to position in New England. At the EDGE in 2019, Van Noy, again, made Bellichick look brilliant. Clearly the Patriots were able to see Van Noy’s athletic ability and bet big he could produce from the EDGE.
While the Raiders will most certainly look at other free agents and the draft to bolster the position, Van Noy not only would improve both areas for Las Vegas, but the price would be right too.
Kyle Van Noy also stays on the field. Over the past three seasons in New England, the hard-hitting veteran has missed just four games. Two of those games came in 2016 after being traded over from the Detroit Lions. Van Noy was inactive during his first two games with the Patriots. He stays healthy and on the field.
The Price is Right
The competition for Van Noy’s services won’t be light but projections put his price tag in the 3-years, $30 million range with somewhere between $12-15 million guaranteed. That’s incredibly affordable given his production in both pass rushing abilities and his strength against the run.
While his name isn’t as sexy as Shaq Barrett (who most likely isn’t leaving Tampa Bay), Yannick Ngakoue, Jadeveon Clowney, or even Robert Quinn at the EDGE, his production and versatility for the price make him worth pursuing. In fact, the Raiders could seemingly sign both Van Noy and Quinn.
With Van Noy’s Nevada ties and his BYU roots, coming home to the Silver State would be a win-win.
Will He Stay in New England?
Belichick is notorious for moving on from even players who are playing at a very high level. This offseason, not only does The Hoody have to worry about the Tom Brady show, but he has other key personnel decisions to make as the Patriots start to look to building to the future.
Where does that leave Van Noy?
No one knows but Van Noy has said he’d like to stay in New England but will do what’s best for him and his family if he has to move on.
“For me personally, I want to do what’s best for my family and I would love to stay in New England,” Van Noy told CBS Sports HQ last month. “It’s going to be home forever. I won Super Bowls there now, the fans have embraced me like their own, I feel like I’m a Bostonian at heart. The food, the culture, everything. I’m in it with them when I go to the Bruins games, the Celtics games, so I’m very, very confident in regards to staying at home. That would be an honor to finish out my career with the New England Patriots.”
Van Noy’s former coach Joe Judge is the new coach of the New York Giants which has led to speculation he could follow him if he leaves New England. He discussed it recently on the Pat MacAfee Show but nothing indicates a true desire to go to New York.
If Kyle Van Noy hits the open market, he’d be a nice addition to the Raiders and really could be a Swiss Army knife for Las Vegas up front. While fans might want bigger names, his price, ability, and reliability would make him an excellent addition.
What do you think?