The dynasty is unraveling.
In the span of three days, the Patriots watched as the defense that carried them through the 2019 season dispersed – along with the loss of longtime quarterback Tom Brady. Linebacker Kyle Van Noy was the first to go when the 28-year-old agreed to terms with the Dolphins.
On Wednesday, defensive tackle Danny Shelton agreed to a two-year, $8 million deal with the Detroit Lions, according to his agent Drew Rosenhaus. Later in the day, NFL Network reported the Lions also traded for Patriots defensive back Duron Harmon, a trade which will involve a swap of late-round draft picks.
Shelton, Harmon and Van Noy combined for 139 total tackles last season, with Shelton recording a career-high 61 tackles in his second year in New England. The Patriots defense anchored the organization’s 11th consecutive appearance in the playoffs, ranking first in the NFL with a league-low 272 yards allowed per game.
The Dolphins came back for more in the New England exodus Wednesday, according to multiple reports, signing offensive lineman Ted Karras, who has been with the Patriots since the franchise drafted him in the sixth round of the 2016 NFL Draft.