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NFL Free Agency: Kyle Van Noy a potential match for New York Giants

Edge defender coming off best season, has Patriots pedigree

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Cleveland Browns v New England Patriots
Kyle Van Noy
Photo by: 2019 Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images

With a new coaching staff that has a heavy New England Patriots’ flavor, it’s easy to think that Patriots’ free agents (no, not Tom Brady) could be sought after this offseason by the New York Giants.

One of those is edge defender Kyle Van Noy. Let’s take a closer look at Van Noy as we get you ready for the free agency signing period.

The basics

Age: 29 in March
Height: 6-foot-3 | Weight: 250
Experience: 6 seasons
Position: EDGE
2019 salary cap hit: $6.26 million
2019 statistics: Games: 15 | Tackles: 56 | Sacks: 6.5 | Quarterback hits: 15 | Passes defensed: 3 | Forced fumbles: 3 | Fumble recoveries: 2
Pro Football Focus: Snaps: 875 | Overall grade: 84/2 | Run defense: 83.7) | Pass rush: 72.1 | Coverage: 76.1 | Passer rating against: 129.0

The skinny

From Bernd Buchmasser of SB Nation’s Patriots website, Pats Pulpit:

All year long, Van Noy was a playmaker for the Patriots defense. Lining up primarily at outside linebacker/defensive end, the veteran was on the field for 16 of the team’s 17 games in 2019 and led the front-seven with a playing time share of 81.9%. He also was New England’s most productive pass rusher and finished the season with a team-high 7.5 sacks while also registering 18 quarterback hits and an additional 26 hurries.Furthermore, Van Noy forced four fumbles and recovered two — one of which he returned for a touchdown. Add it all up and you get a core defender that served as a tone-setter for the entire defense and one of its most valuable members on and off the field. You also get a player who did everything he could to boost his value in a contract year.

Van Noy, who had never hit free agency in his career, already pointed out that he would be looking to get paid a lot.” This, in turn, might limit his chances of returning to New England: the Patriots have limited resources to spend on other priority free agents — quarterback Tom Brady is topping that list — and might not be able to compete with other teams for the 28-year-old’s services. Unless he opts to take a major hometown discount to contradict his prior statement, Patriots fans might have to get used to seeing Van Noy wear a different uniform in 2020.

Could this uniform be the Giants’? It certainly seems possible considering that the team is expected to have plenty of salary cap space available, and needs playmakers on the defensive side of the ball. Van Noy is just that: he is capable of lining up all over the formation and making impact plays against both the run and the pass.

The Giants, obviously, have a need on the edge. Markus Golden, the team’s 2019 sack leader, is a free agent. Chase Young of Ohio State, the best edge defender in the 2020 draft class, will almost certainly be gone before the Giants pick at No. 4. Lorenzo Carter and Oshane Ximines remain promising young players with much yet to prove.

Used as a pass rusher more then ever before in his six-year career (464 of 875 snaps played, 53 percent of the time) Van Noy responded. He had career bests in sacks (6.5), hits (15) and total pressures (60). His Pro Football Focus pass rush productivity score of 7.7 was better than Jadaveon Clowney (6.6), Frank Clark (6.6), Bud Dupree (6.3) and Yannick Ngakoue (6.3).

With former Patriots coaches Patrick Graham (defensive coordinator) and Bret Bielema (outside linebackers/senior advisor) in place for the Giants, Van Noy’s skillset and familiarity with the concepts likely to be run could make him a nice fit.

Pro Football Focus, using data generated by Over The Cap, estimates that Van Noy could be in a line for a contract around three years, $31.5 million ($10.5 million annually) with 15 million guaranteed.

PFF hints at potential Giants’ interest in Van Noy.

“After a slow start to his career in Detroit, Van Noy found a home in New England, and his versatility was an asset to the team as they made multiple Super Bowl runs. Van Noy is a true hybrid linebacker with pass-rushing skills, a coveted skillset by the Patriots and one that has him hitting free agency with many potential suitors given the recent growth of the Bill Belichick coaching tree.”

Your thoughts on Van Noy, Giants fans?