The Patriots have reportedly cut linebacker Kyle Van Noy.d Brynn Anderson/Associated Press

The Patriots released linebacker Kyle Van Noy on Monday and freed up more than $4 million in cap space, per multiple reports.

Cutting Van Noy almost doubles the team’s effective cap space, according to Over The Cap. The Pats now holster more than $10 million, with free agency set to open next week.

Van Noy started eight of his 16 game appearances last season. He totaled 66 tackles, five sacks, a forced fumble, one interception and 10 passes defenses. He played both inside and outside linebacker for the Patriots, who head into next season with plenty of depth on the edge. However, inside linebackers Ja’Whaun Bentley and Dont’a Hightower are both impending free agents.

Van Noy will turn 31 later this month. He signed with the Patriots last spring on a 2-year, $12 million contract with $6 million guaranteed. Van Noy will leave a dead cap hit of $2.45 million for next season.

ESPN first reported his release.

BENGALS: The Cincinnati Bengals placed the franchise tag on safety Jessie Bates III, keeping him with the team for the 2022 season.

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The Bengals had tried unsuccessfully to come to terms on a long-term contract for the 25-year-old Bates, whose rookie deal expired at the end of the season, putting him on the verge of becoming a free agent.

The franchise tag means Bates will be under contract through the 2022 season for roughly $13 million as the team continues to negotiate a long-term deal with him.

CHIEFS: The Chiefs placed the franchise tag on left tackle Orlando Brown Jr., making it a near certainty that he will play for Kansas City next season while also giving the two sides time to work out a long-term contract.

In an aggressive revamping of their offensive line last offseason, the Chiefs traded a first-round pick and three other draft picks to the Baltimore Ravens to acquire Brown, even though he had just one year left on his rookie contract.

COLTS: Indianapolis has established the Tony Dungy Diversity Fellowship to advance the opportunities for football coaching candidates.

The program in honor of the Pro Football Hall of Fame coach, announced Monday by the Irsay family that owns the Colts, will provide the team with access to talented coaches while fostering and expanding the team’s diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives. Dungy is one of the sport’s most outspoken voices on the need for more diversity and inclusion.

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Qualified candidates will be evaluated and interviewed by a selection committee composed of Dungy, the Irsay family, Colts general manager Chris Ballard and coach Frank Reich, and other members of the organization. As a part of the program, the Colts will hire a Dungy Fellow for the offense and the defense.

• Longtime Colts tight end Jack Doyle is retiring, the team announced.

The 31-year-old Doyle played all 131 games of his nine-year career with his hometown team.

BROWNS: Cleveland placed a franchise tag for next season on tight end David Njoku, preventing him from hitting the free agent market.

Njoku was one of the few bright spots last season for the Browns, who went 8-9 and missed the playoffs amid massive expectations. The 25-year-old caught 35 passes for 475 yards and four touchdowns in 2021.

The Browns believe Njoku, a first-round draft pick in 2017 from Miami, can produce even more and have spoken to his agent about a long-term contract.

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RAIDERS: The Las Vegas Raiders announced new coach Josh McDaniels’ staff, which includes former Giants coordinator Patrick Graham running the defense and former Patriots assistant Mick Lombardi coordinating the offense.

The staff also includes former Raiders defensive coordinator Rob Ryan returning as a senior defensive assistant, Tom McMahon as special teams coordinator and former NFL star Antonio Pierce as linebackers coach.

HALL OF FAME: The Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremonies are moving from prime time to Saturday afternoon in August.

The enshrinement on Saturday, Aug. 6 will begin at noon at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium. Those ceremonies have been held at night since 2007.

Being inducted this year are modern-era players Tony Boselli, Sam Mills, LeRoy Butler, Richard Seymour and Bryant Young, coach Dick Vermiel, contributor Art McNally and senior candidate Cliff Branch.

NFL Network and ESPN will continue to broadcast the proceedings.

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BUCCANEERS: Cornerback Richard Sherman pleaded guilty in Seattle to two misdemeanor charges stemming from a drunken driving and domestic disturbance last summer, as part of an agreement that spares him further jail time.

Sherman was arrested July 14 after police said he crashed his SUV in a construction zone and tried to break into his in-laws’ suburban Seattle home. His father-in-law, Raymond Moss, told officers that he armed himself with a handgun and fired pepper-spray at Sherman to protect his family.

The break-in attempt was captured on the home’s surveillance camera, which was later released by the court.

Sherman, who said after the arrest he was “deeply remorseful,” pleaded guilty in King County Superior Court to two misdemeanor counts, first-degree negligent driving and second-degree criminal trespass. He also admitted to a criminal infraction of speeding in a roadway construction zone.

Sherman, a former star with the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers, will pay about $825 in legal fees, plus $500 for speeding in the construction zone, and be under court supervision for two years. He will be responsible for paying an as-yet-undetermined amount in restitution for damage to his in-laws’ house and to the state transportation department.

The judge gave Sherman credit for the two days he spent in custody when he was first arrested and suspended the 88 days remaining on the sentence, meaning he won’t be required to serve any additional time behind bars if he keeps out of trouble.

49ERS: The San Francisco 49ers announced several changes to Coach Kyle Shanahan’s staff, with Brian Schneider being hired as special teams coordinator and Bobby Slowik and Chris Foerster sharing the offensive coordinator duties.

The moves come after the Niners lost several assistants this offseason, with offensive coordinator Mike McDaniel getting hired as head coach in Miami and taking receivers coach Wes Welker and tight ends coach Jon Embree with him.

Special teams coordinator Richard Hightower was hired for the same job in Chicago and running backs coach Bobby Turner is taking the year off to deal with medical issues.


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