Rams To Release OLB Leonard Floyd

MARCH 10: Although trade rumors emerged, the Rams are planning to release their top edge rusher Friday, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. This will give Floyd a chance to catch on with a third team and create a major need for the Rams at outside linebacker. Floyd was the only Rams edge player to record more than one sack in 2022.

MARCH 6: The Rams have already made their intentions clear with linebacker Bobby Wagnerand other cost-cutting moves are expected to come as well. That will include a parting of ways with pass rusher Leonard Floyd.

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ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that Los Angeles will look to trade the veteran, and in the absence of a deal materializing, he will be released (Twitter link). That is the same stance the team has taken with Wagner, whose tenure with his hometown team will come to an end after just one season.

Floyd, 30, was cut by the Bears after four disappointing seasons in the Windy City. That led him to Los Angeles on a one-year deal which paid enormous dividends for both player and team. Floyd recorded a career-high 10.5 sacks that season, and he inked a four-year, $64MM contract off the back of that production. In the two seasons following that deal, he has started all 17 games both years while remaining a key member of the team’s defense.

The former first-rounder racked up 9.5 sacks in 2021, then followed that up with 9.0 this past season. Floyd played snap shares of 80% and 86%, respectively, showing not only his durability after injuries were a factor early in his career, but also the dearth of consistent pass rushers the team had aside from him. The Rams are expected to pursue multiple additions at that position, something which will be made easier from a financial perspective with Floyd (whose deal was restructured last March) off the books.

Releasing Floyd right away would serve almost no purpose for the Rams (only $3MM in cap savings, against a dead money charge of $19MM). If he were to be designated a post-June 1 cut, though, those figures would become $15.5MM and $6.5MM, respectively. The latter path would therefore be the one taken by Los Angeles unless a trade partner could be found for an edge rusher who has demonstrated a consistent level of production.

If Floyd does hit free agency, he will likely be joined in that regard by Bud Dupree, who earlier today was reported to become the latest veteran the Titans are parting ways with. Those two, along with Yannick Ngakoue, Jadeveon Clowney, and Justin Houston, are set to headline the veterans available at the position when the new league year begins.

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