The New England Patriots lost two key players and missed out on potential free-agent targets when the legal tampering period began on Monday. Earlier, the Patriots agreed to deal with special teamer Matthew Slater and safety Devin McCourty and kept left guard Joe Thuney by using the franchise tag on him. Thuney will earn around $14.8 million in 2020, making him one of the highest-paid offensive linemen in the NFL, but the Patriots intend to work out a long-term deal with him. The Patriots also kept defensive tackle Adam Butler and offensive lineman Jermaine Eluemunor by placing restricted free agent tenders on them.

Patriots lose Van Noy, Collins

However, New England lost star linebacker Kyle Van Noy, one of the key cogs of the Patriots’ defense, who agreed to terms of a four-year contract worth $51 million with the Miami Dolphins, according to Mike Garafolo of NFL Media. Ian Rapoport of NFL Media later provided additional details on Van Noy’s deal, saying the linebacker will receive $30 million in guaranteed money. The deal will not be official until the NFL league year begins on Wednesday, but Van Noy confirmed it on his Twitter account. With the move, Van Noy will be reunited with Dolphins' Head Coach Brian Flores, who was his coach with the Patriots for three seasons. Last season, Van Noy recorded a career-high 6 ½ sacks.

The Patriots also lost linebacker Jamie Collins, who agreed to a three-year deal with the Detroit Lions, according to Rapoport. The NFL insider said Collins will receive a three-year pact worth $30 million with $18 million in guaranteed money. Collins earned the huge deal after returning to the Patriots via a one-year contract last season, where he tallied 81 tackles, seven sacks, three interceptions, three forced fumbles, and a defensive touchdown.

Patriots miss out on Hooper, Cooper

The Patriots also missed out on other potential targets who can help boost their offense. Free-agent tight end Austin Hooper, one of the Patriots’ reported targets in the free-agent market, agreed to a four-year deal worth $44 million with the Cleveland Browns. Wide receiver Amari Cooper will stay with the Dallas Cowboys after agreeing to a five-year deal worth $100 million, including $60 million in guaranteed money.

Hayden Hurst, another tight end target for the Patriots, was traded by the Baltimore Ravens to the Atlanta Falcons while wide receiver Stefon Diggs, who had expressed interest in playing alongside veteran quarterback Tom Brady, was shipped by the Minnesota Vikings to the Buffalo Bills, per The Patriots have yet to find additional weapons on offense that could entice the 42-year-old Brady to stay.