Many former New England Patriots coaches have made the mistake of bringing along former players with them to their new gigs only to see them flop, and NY Giants rookie coach Joe Judge needs to be cognizant of that.
As we all know, Bill Belichick is the greatest coach in the history of the NFL. For unexplainable reasons, he’s able to coax unrealistic results out of inferior talent on a regular basis. NY Giants rookie head coach Joe Judge got a first-hand look at this for many years, and hopefully, he realizes that bringing along former Patriots with him is not a winning formula.
Time and time again, we’ve seen players excel with the Pats only to totally wash out with their new teams after being handed huge contracts. As Giant fans, we don’t need to look any further than our left tackle position to remind us of how true that is.
Bringing along players that he’s familiar with and saw have success up close and personal is going to be enticing for Joe Judge, but he is going to need to stay strong and think outside the box in terms of player personnel. While Dave Gettleman will have final say on roster moves, don’t kid yourself — the rookie coach is going to have serious input.
This off-season, the one Patriot that’s being linked to Big Blue the most is edge rusher Kyle Van Noy. Coming off his best season as a pro at age 28, Van Noy is undoubtedly going to be looking to cash in after playing out a 2/$11M deal with the Patriots.
Originally acquired via a trade with the Lions, Van Noy’s splits with the two teams tell a story of a guy that may be more of a system player than any other Patriots player before him. In 30 games with the Lions, the former BYU Cougar accumulated just 1 sack and 2 quarterback hits. In 51 games with the Patriots, Van Noy racked up 16.5 sacks and 35 QB hits.
It’s worth noting that the Lions invested a second-round pick in the linebacker, so they were obviously trying to give him as many chances to succeed as they could. To be fair, it could have just taken the young player some time to get acclimated to the NFL, but it’s certainly disenchanting that he started the first seven games of his third season and was only able to make 1 quarterback hit before being traded to New England at the deadline.
Now, it’s also worth noting that the Patriots run a 3/4 defense while the Lions were running a 4/3. It’s entirely possible that he’s just a better fit in a 3/4, but did he really become this much of a better player overnight? After grabbing just 1 sack with the Pats during the rest of that 2016 season, he picked up 5.5, 3.5 and 6.5 sacks respectively over the next three seasons while hitting the quarterback at least 9 times in each year.
While those stats are far from earth-shattering, anyone who has watched the Pats should be able to realize that he’s been a player that has outperformed what his numbers say on the stat sheet and seems to be a guy that makes big plays when it matters. Still, the splits between the two teams are scary enough to warrant wondering if he’s not worth tossing big money at.
Van Noy has already stated that he’s looking to cash in, and he should be able to command upwards of $10M per year on the open market. This past week on the Pat McAfee Show, he also proclaimed his desire to play for Big Blue, praising Joe Judge and even letting out a ‘Go Giants!’ at the end of the interview.
It’s all well and good that he would like to play for the NY Giants, but his struggles in Detroit combined with how former Patriots have fared after getting paid on the open market should give Dave Gettleman more than enough pause to hand him a mammoth contract. There are simply better players on the market, and he’s too risky of a proposition to invest big money into.
Van Noy seems like an awesome guy – and maybe it’s unfair to lay the failures of past Patriots at his feet – but the NY Giants are going to have to be extremely shrewd with their cap space this off-season to turn this thing around.
Throwing big money at a former Patriot – again – is simply not the way to go.