Was Dolphins' release of Kyle Van Noy a surprise move?

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In a bit of a surprising move, the Dolphins plan on releasing linebacker Kyle Van Noy after signing him to a big deal just last offseason.

Van Noy signed a four-year, $51 million contract, but only $15 million was guaranteed. Miami is only on the hook for just over $4 million, so it isn’t a ton of money to leave on the table.

In 14 games with Miami last season, he recorded 69 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, six sacks, 10 QB hits, six pass breakups, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. Essentially he was the same player he was for the Patriots, just not worth the contract he signed.

So, what are the chances of a return to the Patriots, which the McCourty Twins seem to be in favor of?

They certainly have a need at the linebacker position and Bill Belichick and the defensive staff know how to use him best, but the issue may be the cost.

Coming off a contract like he received last offseason, Van Noy likely will be seeking something close to that, especially since he will turn 30 years old this month. If that is the case, the Patriots would likely not be in play as it doesn’t feel like they would be willing to spend that much on a player like him, especially given other more pressing needs on the roster.

Van Noy, who was a team captain in Miami, will likely generate a decent amount of interest around the league.

While he would fit and address a need in New England, unless he’s willing to take significantly less money, do not expect Van Noy to return.