FOXBORO, Mass. — With the NFL trade deadline fast approaching, the New England Patriots should hope to swindle a team similar to how they stole linebacker Kyle Van Noy from the Detroit Lions two years ago today.

The Patriots traded a sixth-round pick to the Lions for Van Noy and a seventh-rounder Oct. 25, 2016. Van Noy has gone on to become a Super Bowl champion, starter, versatile chess piece and playmaker in the Patriots’ defense.

The trade was similarly meaningful to Van Noy and his career. He was celebrating the anniversary Thursday in the locker room.

“Saved it, probably, honestly,” Van Noy said Thursday. “It’s been a blessing. Yeah, kind of changed my whole life type of deal. It was a huge blessing.”

Van Noy was asked about why he threw #thanksbilltrill in his tweet.

“Definitely gotta thank him,” Van Noy said. “He’s a big part of why I’m here. If not the reason. …

“I feel like all the coaches — since I’ve played numerous positions here — I feel like all of them, you name it, from Coach Flo (Brian Flores) to BD (Brendan Daly) to when Matty P (Matt Patricia) was here, they’ve all seemed to bring the best out of anybody that’s in the room. It’s kind of the expectation here. And just trying to do the best that I can to provide for the team.”

Van Noy has 35 tackles, two tackles for loss, an interception, two fumble recoveries and a touchdown this season. He also has two quarterback hits and 14 hurries, according to Pro Football Focus.

He has the versatility to play middle linebacker, outside linebacker and defensive end in the Patriots’ defense. And all the Patriots had to do was move down 24 spots at the end of the 2017 NFL Draft to acquire him.

For more grades, advanced statistics and more at Pro Football Focus, go to

Thumbnail photo via Isaiah J. Downing/USA TODAY Sports Images