Former BYU linebacker Kyle Van Noy will be lining up in a new defense soon, as the Detroit Lions traded Van Noy to the New England Patriots on Tuesday.
He was a second-round pick by the Lions in the 2014 NFL draft.
ESPN reported the Patriots will acquire Van Noy and a 2017 seventh-round draft pick from Detroit in exchange for a sixth-round pick next season.
Van Noy is enjoying his most successful season in 2016 after struggling to carve out a role his first two years as a pro in Detroit. That included missing half of his first season with a sports hernia and filling a backup role in 2015.
This season, he has 23 total tackles and a pass deflection while starting seven games for the Lions. In a Week 4 loss to Oakland, the 'backer had a career-best seven solo tackles.
Though he started every game this year for Detroit and has earned praise from coaches this year, Van Noy saw his snaps drop this past weekend in a victory over Washington.
“I’m still growing,” he told the Deseret News earlier this month. “I’m still improving. It means a lot to me — improving each week. But I have such a high expectation for myself to always make a difference.”
Now, he'll have the chance to continue developing with the Patriots, an annual Super Bowl contender. Van Noy will be the seventh linebacker on New England's 53-man roster and joins a team where two other linebackers — key contributors Jamie Collins (hip) and Dont'a Hightower (knee) — are dealing with injuries.
During his time in Detroit, Van Noy played with college teammate Ezekiel Ansah, who has blossomed into a Pro Bowl-caliber defensive end.
Van Noy was in his third year of a four-year rookie contract with the Lions worth $5.1 million, according to Spotrac, which tracks sports contracts.
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