We don't need to tell you that the Patriots were busy at the start of free agency. The Patriots brought in new faces and brought back several players from the 2020 roster.
In the midst of all that news, three former Patriots found their way back to Foxborough. Kyle Van Noy and Ted Karras re-signed with the team after both spent a year in Miami before rejoining the squad in New England. Before free agency began, the Patriots traded for Trent Brown from the Raiders, bringing him back after two season in Las Vegas.
Van Noy, Karras and Brown haven't been gone from New England for very long, but we're reintroducing them to Patriots fans as a welcome back. So without further ado, here's what you need to know about this trio off the field.
Kyle Van Noy
Van Noy's return to Foxborough comes after a year hiatus in Miami. He spent four seasons with the Patriots, winning two Super Bowls. While he made a name for himself on the field, in New England, he thrived in the community.
He and his wife, Marissa, through their Van Noy Valor Foundation, work to support families and kids in foster care and going through adoption. They hosted an annual Christmas tree giveaway, trips, movie premieres and more. For the Van Noy family, it's personal. Kyle was adopted, and Marissa's brother and father were also adopted. They dedicated themselves to building relationships throughout New England.
Because of this work, Van Noy was the Patriots 2019 Ron Burton Community MVP and the Patriots Walter Payton Man fo the Year nominee. His purpose in giving back is simple.
""There's a lot of people out there that need help, and I want to help. I was given a lot growing up. I was blessed with second chances being a troublemaker, and I know there are people out there that are just looking for that chance and opportunity just to put a smile on their face, that's the least I can do," Van Noy said. "It's fun to see kids smiling."
Ted Karras III
After a year in Miami, Karras rejoins the team that drafted him, so let's get reacquainted.
Karras was one of four members of the Patriots 2016 rookie class to go to three Super Bowls in his firs three years in the league.
With two Super Bowl rings to his name, Karras only added to his family's collection. In fact, he is the third Ted Karras to win an NFL Championship. His grandfather, Ted Karras Sr., won with the Chicago Bears in 1963. His father, Ted Karras Jr., played for Washington during the NFL strike and won a Super Bowl with the team. Because he played during the strike, Karras Jr. didn't get his ring until 2018, a year after his son won his first.
Karras is a self-proclaimed Twitter loyalist, a cat dad and an avid watcher of "The Office."
In his first stint with the Patriots, he hosted his own mini-series called "Ted Talks," where he would rant and rave about a subject of his choosing.
In the premiere, he talked about his favorite book: "Slaughterhouse-Five." It remains to be seen if Ted Talks will be picked up for a second season.
After two seasons with the Raiders, Brown makes his towering return to New England, and it truly is towering. Standing at 6'8", Brown's height is a common refrain.
Though he is a tall, tall guy, that's not all. Brown has his own TB77 Foundation, which aims to change the lives of kids in need. While he was with the Raiders, Brown donated $20,000 to the Clark County School District Technology Fund to provide students necessary technology to adjust to remote learning.
"Through my TB77 Cares Foundation, this donation is the first of many steps I plan on taking in ensuring everyone has the resources they need to succeed. Every student deserves the chance to learn no matter the circumstance," Brown said in a press release about the donation. "My hope is that these laptops can bring opportunities to families that need help closing the gap between technology and education during this uncertain time."
For Van Noy, Karras and Brown, the time away from New England may have been short, but the reunion is certainly a welcome one.