Last March Kyle Van Noy signed a big free agent contract worth $51 million dollars with $30 million “guaranteed”. Less than a year later the contract will turn to dust as the Dolphins have surprisingly informed Van Noy that he will be released this year.
Van Noy was set to count for $13.9 million on the salary cap in 2021 and his salary was to become fully guaranteed on the 3rd day of the league year. By cutting him they will avoid the guarantee and carry just $4.125 million on the salary cap as dead money, a savings of $9.775 million.
While Van Noy did not have a great season, he was a captain of the team and played in about 70% of the teams snaps. He recorded 6 sacks and 46 solo tackles, both numbers of which were on par with his play with Patriots the year before. Miami wound up paying Van Noy a whopping $15 million for just one season.
I am usually not very surprised by cuts in the NFL but I was a bit surprised at this one. The team was not in a salary cap crunch though this gives them more avenues to explore options. the move does open up the room for the team to explore the option of trading Tua Tagovailoa as part of a package for Deshaun Watson. The swap of those two players would cost the Dolphins about $18.3 million in cap space, so the extra $9.7M comes in handy for that.
It is also worth noting that free agency is loaded with veteran and younger pass rushers this season and perhaps they can find a cheaper option while using the extra cap space for other players. I don’t believe it is payroll related as there would have been talks of a pay cut if that was the case.
The Dolphins should have around $30 million in cap space in 2021 once the release becomes official. I would expect them to explore trades first before officially cutting him.