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Chargers sign Super Bowl veteran linebacker Kyle Van Noy, a former Patriots standout

New England Patriots middle linebacker Kyle Van Noy has his helmet off before a game in December.
Former New England linebacker Kyle Van Noy played in three consecutive Super Bowls with the Patriots.
(Steven Senne / Associated Press)

The Chargers’ defensive rebuild continued Thursday with the signing of linebacker Kyle Van Noy.

A veteran of eight NFL seasons, Van Noy has played inside and outside during a career highlighted by a pair of Super Bowl championships with New England. The Chargers’ news release on the signing referred to him as an outside linebacker.

Coming out of the draft over the weekend, the Chargers were still short on edge rushers.

Van Noy, who turned 31 in March, had five sacks and 27 pressures in 16 games (eight starts) last season for the Patriots, according to Pro Football Focus. He had career highs in sacks (6.5) and pressures (58) in 2019.

The Chargers have starters Joey Bosa and Khalil Mack on the edge, with Chris Rumph II as one backup. They signed Jamal Davis II out of the CFL to compete at the position. Emeke Egbule also remains on the roster.

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The 2022 NFL draft didn’t go as expected. The Chargers had to wait until later rounds to fill some of their glaring needs after a great start to draft.

Since the end of last season, coach Brandon Staley has talked about the importance of improving the pass rush in the context of upgrading the play of the secondary. The Chargers ranked 13th in pass rush last year, according to PFF, and finished 18th in pressures and tied for 20th in sacks.

Van Noy began his NFL career as a second-round selection out of Brigham Young by Detroit in 2014. He was a role player and special teamer for the Lions before being traded to New England in October of 2016.

Van Noy blossomed into a starter during parts of four seasons with the Patriots, finishing 2018 with a career-best 92 tackles. He appeared in three consecutive Super Bowls with New England, from the 2016-18 seasons, and won two.

During the 2020 offseason, he signed a four-year deal worth up to $51 million with Miami. The Dolphins released Van Noy after one season, however, and he returned to New England. The Patriots released him in March.

Los Angeles Times Chargers beat writer Jeff Miller examines every NFL draft pick by the team:

The Chargers have significantly reworked their defense after an inconsistent 2021 season. The marquee moves were trading for Mack and signing free-agent cornerback J.C. Jackson in March.

They also signed defensive tackles Sebastian Joseph-Day and Austin Johnson and re-signed interior lineman Christian Covington.

In the draft, the Chargers selected safety JT Woods (third round), defensive tackle Otito Ogbonnia (fifth) and cornerbacks Ja’Sir Taylor (sixth) and Deane Leonard (seventh).

On Wednesday, they added more depth to their secondary with the signing of veteran cornerback Bryce Callahan.


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