New England linebacker Kyle Van Noy rushes Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen during a game in December 2019. Van Noy signed as a free agent with the Miami Dolphins. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola) Credit: Elise Amendola | AP

Former New England Patriots linebacker Kyle Van Noy, who recently signed a four-year deal worth $51 million ($30 million guaranteed) with Miami, said joining the Dolphins as a free agent was an easy decision to make.

“Obviously there were a lot of unknowns, but I was confident in my play,” Van Noy said during his appearance on Devin McCourty and Jason McCourty’s Double Coverage Podcast on Sunday night. “And it was Miami all the way. I mean, they came out strong out of the gates. They made it clear they wanted me as a priority, that they wanted me to come in and be a leader. And really just came strong and everybody else kind of backed off or didn’t even come in at all. So that made my decision pretty clear.”

Van Noy, a six-year veteran, said he was looking forward to the opportunity of assuming a leadership role with the rebuilding Dolphins.

“I’m excited for the challenge of becoming a leader,” Van Noy said. “I’ve been blessed to be around a lot of leaders on and off the field and I’m excited to go down to a group of young men that are going to be younger than me that, hopefully, I can lead them in the right direction on and off the field. And just be the best professional they can be.”

When asked which teammates he was most excited to play with in Miami, Van Noy didn’t hesitate in putting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick at the top of the list.

“I’m ready for FitzMagic, baby,” he said. “I’m excited to see the chains. I’m excited to see all of it. His personality rubs off on people, just how he is as a person. He knows who he is as a person, as a quarterback and his confidence level. I’m excited to see that. I’m also excited to see (defensive tackle) Christian Wilkins. He’s got a lot of energy. He’s a clown. I don’t know if you guys saw when they scored that touchdown. He be clowning. I like that. And definitely I’d have to say Byron (Jones) and (Xavien) Howard. They’re going to be exciting. My best friends with New England (played in) the secondary, that’s for a reason.”

The versatile Van Noy, who will be relied on to play a key role in the Dolphins’ new-look pass rush, said he’s impressed with how the team is building its roster.

“I think they’re doing some good things,” he said. “I think if they continue to put pieces around … I think we’ve got a good young roster with a lot of talent. We’ve just got to bring it all together.”

Van Noy, who is one of 11 former Patriots on Miami’s roster, also said the improved AFC East is wide open.

“We’ve still got to play the (Patriots) twice,” he said. “Buffalo is looking strong and the Jets got a lot better at the end of the year. So, the division is definitely getting better. I’m excited.”