Leonard Floyd

Rams Sign OLB Leonard Floyd

The Rams are making their first big splash of free agency. Los Angeles is signing outside linebacker Leonard Floyd to a one-year deal, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets.

It’s a $10MM deal that can be worth up to $13MM, Schefter reports. Floyd was cut by the Bears yesterday when Chicago signed fellow outside linebacker Robert Quinn, and it didn’t take him very long to find a new home. We heard word that the Giants were interested in Floyd, so Rams GM Les Snead likely had competition for his services. Floyd would’ve earned $13.2MM in 2020 under his fifth-year option had the Bears kept him, so his release won’t end up hurting him too much financially if at all.

The ninth overall pick back in 2016 Floyd was a bit of a disappointment in Chicago, but he’ll now get the chance to prove himself and re-enter unrestricted free agency at this time next year. The Georgia product became a starter as a rookie and showed plenty of flashes, racking up seven sacks in 12 games in his first year as a pro.

Unfortunately he never really progressed from that point, and his sack totals actually declined in each of the past three years. Still only 27, he has a lot of theoretical talent. He’ll slide in more or less as the replacement for Dante Fowler Jr., who just left the Rams to sign a three-year, $48MM deal with the Falcons less than an hour ago.

When the Rams next take the field looking to put their disappointing 2019 season behind them, their defense is going to look quite a bit different. Not only did they trade away cornerbacks Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib midway through last year, they’ve now seen a string of departures in free agency.

Safety Eric Weddle retired; Cory Littleton, Michael Brockers, and Fowler Jr. have now all departed in free agency, and the team just declined their option on usual slot corner Nickell Robey-Coleman. They’ve also replaced defensive coordinator Wade Phillips with Brandon Staley, so it’s safe to say that side of the ball is getting a complete makeover after Sean McVay’s dissatisfaction with the previous structure became evident.

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Giants Interested In LB Leonard Floyd

Linebacker Leonard Floyd was cut by the Bears earlier today, but he’s already got several suitors lining up. NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo tweets that the Giants are among the teams that are in play for Floyd.

There were high hopes for Floyd when the Bears selected him in the first-round of the 2016 Draft. The Georgia product had a productive rookie campaign, compiling seven sacks.

While the linebacker put up solid numbers in the subsequent three years, his sack numbers have dropped each season. The 27-year-old finished the 2019 campaign with 40 tackles and three sacks.

Floyd was set to earn $13.2MM in what was his fifth-year option year. That would have been tough to juggle after the Bears inked pass-rusher Robert Quinn to a lucrative five-year deal.

The Giants have been active in adding linebackers this week. They signed a pair of former Packers linebackers in Blake Martinez and Kyler Fackrell.

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Bears To Sign Robert Quinn, Cut Leonard Floyd

In one fell swoop, the Bears have revamped their pass rush. On Tuesday, the Bears agreed to a five-year, $70MM deal with Robert Quinn, according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter). Meanwhile, they also released former first-round pick Leonard Floyd (Twitter link via ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter).

Quinn’s deal includes $30MM fully guaranteed, giving him solid security over the course of the deal.

The Cowboys worked to keep Quinn, but the numbers crunch didn’t quite allow for that. Dallas, of course, came into the offseason with even bigger fish to fry, including negotiations with quarterback Dak Prescott and wide receiver Amari Cooper. They already watched as cornerback Byron Jones left for the Dolphins, and now they’ll be losing another key member of their defense.

Quinn was the comeback kid in 2019, notching 11.5 sacks for Dallas. It was a resurgent year for the veteran, who had a rocky stretch following his last Pro Bowl appearance in 2014.

The 2011 first-round pick emerged as a serious force in 2012 and looked the part of a world-class defender in 2013 when he posted 19 sacks. He had a solid follow-up effort in 2014 (10.5 sacks), but he missed roughly half of 2015 and 2016 with the Rams. After spending the 2018 season with the Dolphins, Quinn was traded to the Cowboys last offseason.

There were high hopes for Floyd when the Bears selected him in the first-round of the 2016 Draft. The Georgia product had a productive rookie campaign, compiling seven sacks. While the linebacker put up solid numbers in the subsequent three years, his sack numbers have dropped each season. The 27-year-old finished the 2019 campaign with 40 tackles and three sacks.

Floyd was set to earn $13.2MM in what was his fifth-year option year.

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Latest On Bears’ OLB Leonard Floyd

We heard back in December that the Bears could part ways with outside linebacker and former first-round pick Leonard Floyd this offseason. Last May, Chicago exercised Floyd’s fifth-year option, which would keep him under contract through the 2020 campaign at a salary of $13.2MM, but as of right now, that salary is guaranteed for injury only. As such, the Bears could cut Floyd and obtain $13.2MM of cap space.

However, they would need to do that soon, because the salary becomes fully guaranteed when the new league year begins on March 18. And as Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune writes, some believe that GM Ryan Pace will indeed release Floyd within the week.

Floyd has by no means been a bad player, and he has been a full-time starter since his rookie campaign. But after posting seven sacks in 12 games in 2016, those numbers have tailed off considerably. He has accrued just 11.5 sacks in the last three seasons, and Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics pegged him as just the 53rd-best edge defender in 2019. He managed 27 QB hurries in 2019 after 30.5 in 2018, but he has not yet been able to convert those hurries into sacks on a regular basis.

“He’s close in a lot of areas when you look at the pressures and those things,” Pace said. “He just needs to finish a little better on the quarterback.” While acknowledging that the team would like to see more sack production out of Floyd, Pace did say that Floyd’s versatility and his coverage abilities make him an asset.

Still, $13.2MM is a lot for a solid but replaceable player, especially since the Bears don’t have a ton of cap room to work with. While the top edge rushers who would otherwise be eligible for free agency are likely to remain with their current teams, players like Kyle Van Noy and Vic Beasley could be available, and Pace could also turn to the draft.

A Floyd trade or paycut is unlikely, according to Biggs.

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NFC Notes: Floyd, Bears, Buccaneers, Barrett, Vikings, Rhodes

The Bears have obviously been having a disappointing season. A year after being one of the toasts of the league and winning the NFC North, they’ve officially been eliminated from playoff contention following their loss to the Packers. With the postseason out of reach, all eyes will now turn toward the offseason. The elephant in the room is what Chicago will do with Mitchell Trubisky and the quarterback situation, but they have some other big decisions to make as well. Linebacker Leonard Floyd is set to make $13.2MM under the fifth-year option in 2020, but that’s entirely non-guaranteed money. They can cut him this offseason with no financial penalty, and Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune seems to think that’s a real possibility.

In an interesting column Biggs explores Floyd’s situation, noting all the dynamics at play. Floyd is the second first-round pick that GM Ryan Pace made since taking over the front office, and the first was megabust Kevin White. As such, Pace could be motivated to keep Floyd on the team to try and validate the pick. Floyd certainly hasn’t been bad and he’s been a full-time starter for the Bears since entering the league, but it’s fair to wonder if he’s lived up to the billing of a ninth overall pick. As Biggs points out, the option would make him the tenth highest-paid outside linebacker in the NFL. Floyd had seven sacks as a rookie, but only 4.5 two years ago and four last year. In 14 games this season, he has three. His money becomes guaranteed on March 18th, so the Bears will have to make a decision by then.

Here’s more from the NFC:

  • Speaking of NFC pass-rushers, the Buccaneers’ Shaq Barrett has been having a breakout season. He just picked up his 16.5th sack of the year this past weekend, tying the legendary Warren Sapp for the all-time single season franchise record. He’s been a bright spot all year long for this Bucs defense, and they aren’t planning on letting him get away even as he prepares to enter unrestricted free agency this spring. “He ain’t going anywhere,” head coach Bruce Arians said of Barrett, who signed a one-year, $4MM deal this offseason, via Jenna Laine of ESPN.com. Barrett will likely be in line for a massive payday this offseason, and it sounds like the Buccaneers are ready to pay up. Barrett originally signed with the Broncos as an UDFA back in 2014, and was eventually able to get on the field as a situational rusher. He was slept on this offseason, and as we heard earlier this year, only one team other than Tampa even offered him a contract.
  • Vikings cornerback Xavier Rhodes played only 14 snaps against the Chargers this past weekend, but it wasn’t because of an injury. Head coach Mike Zimmer said after the game that Rhodes was healthy, and that his limited action was the plan going in, per Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com. In other words, Rhodes got benched. The 2013 first-round pick quickly became a star and one of the league’s better corners, but he’s declined rapidly. He’s still started every game this season but his snaps have declined each of the past couple weeks, as he’s been burned repeatedly. A first-team All-Pro in 2017, Rhodes is under contract through the 2022 season as part of a five-year, $70MM extension he signed with the Vikings. There’s been a lot of talk that Minnesota will move on after this season, and it’ll be very interesting to see what happens to the 29-year-old.

Bears Pick Up Leonard Floyd’s Option

As expected, the Bears have picked up the fifth-year option on outside linebacker Leonard Floyd (Twitter link via ESPN.com’s Field Yates). The former first-round pick is now under club control through the 2020 season. 

Floyd, who has registered 15.5 sacks through three seasons, is slated to earn $13.3MM in 2020. The additional year is guaranteed for injury only, so the Bears could theoretically escape the additional season without cap consequences if Floyd is able to pass a physical heading into the ’20 campaign.

Floyd, the ninth overall pick in 2016, played in all 16 games last season, marking his first ever campaign with perfect attendance. While he managed a career-low four sacks, Floyd ranked 31st among pass rushers with 30.5 quarterback pressures, according to Sports Info Solutions’ charting data. He also put up nine tackles for loss, 11 quarterback hits, and graded as the NFL’s No. 45 edge defender among 105 qualifiers, per Pro Football Focus.

Floyd is eligible for a contract extension after completing his third NFL season, but the Bears have plenty of time to cross that bridge.

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Bears To Exercise Leonard Floyd’s Option

The Bears intend to exercise edge rusher Leonard Floyd‘s 2020 fifth-year option, general manager Ryan Pace recently told reporters, including Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times (Twitter link).

While the official figures for 2020 fifth-year options have yet to be revealed, Floyd’s salary should be roughly $13MM. That total will guaranteed for injury only, so if Floyd can’t pass a physical heading into the 2020 campaign, the Bears will be able to release him with no adverse salary cap consequences. NFL clubs have until May 2 to announce their option decisions for their respective 2016 first-round selections.

Floyd, the ninth overall pick in 2016, last year played in all 16 games for the first time in his career. While he managed a career-low four sacks, Floyd ranked 31st among pass rushers with 30.5 quarterback pressures, according to Sports Info Solutions’ charting data. He also put up nine tackles for loss, 11 quarterback hits, and graded as the NFL’s No. 45 edge defender among 105 qualifiers, per Pro Football Focus.

Now that he’s completed his third NFL season, Floyd is eligible for a contract extension. But given that they have him under team control through 2020, the Bears figure to be deliberative with any negotiations.

NFC North Notes: Bears, Floyd, Lions, Vikings

Bears outside linebacker Leonard Floyd had surgery to repair a break in his right hand, as Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times writes. However, coach Matt Nagy is hopeful that he’ll be able to play Week 1.

Floyd missed six games last year after tearing the MCL and PCL in his right knee, and the Bears do not want to lose him for any amount of time this year. Before that injury, he was on track to match and possibly top the seven sacks that he collected during his rookie season.

Here’s more from the NFC North:

Bears Rumors: Long, Lynch, Floyd, Burton

While franchise tag situations understandably dominated the day, here’s a look at one of the teams that didn’t take part in a summer standoff. Latest out of the Windy City:

  • Kyle Long‘s dealt with a string of injury problems in recent years. He underwent three more surgeries this offseason, but the Bears expect their top offensive lineman to be cleared in time for training camp, J.J. Stankevitz of NBC Sports Chicago notes. Long missed all of camp last season and the first two Bears games before suffering a season-ending injury that shelved him for most of Chicago’s December schedule. Shoulder, elbow and neck procedures followed, but they don’t look to be the kind of impediments Long dealt with in 2017 as he attempted to recover in time for the regular season. Long hasn’t played more than 10 games in a season since 2015. Veterans report to Bears camp July 19.
  • The Bears hope Aaron Lynch‘s history with Vic Fangio can translate to the kind of consistency that would make the former 49ers edge defender a reliable part of Chicago’s outside linebacker corps, Colleen Kane of the Chicago Tribune notes. Hamstring and ankle injuries limited Lynch with his new team this offseason, and Kane considers him on the bubble to make the Bears. Lynch is attached to a one-year, $4MM contract. He played in just 14 games the past two seasons, restricted by injuries and a suspension, and recorded just 2.5 sacks in that span. He registered 12.5 during his first two seasons in the league, the first of which as a part of Fangio’s final 49ers defense.
  • After undergoing surgery to repair damaged the MCL and PCL in his right knee, Leonard Floyd also expects to be full-go by Bears camp, per Kane. With Pernell McPhee, Willie Young and Lamarr Houston off the roster, the Bears will need more from Floyd. Sam Acho, Jonathan Anderson and Kasim Edebali represent the non-Lynch veterans who could start opposite Floyd.
  • Trey Burton, though, may have a more important role on the 2018 Bears, with Adam Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times ranking the former Eagles backup atop the list for players most vital to the team’s prospects this season. Despite Chicago investing more in Allen Robinson, and Mitch Trubisky obviously playing a more critical position, Jahns lists Burton in this slot because of his importance to Matt Nagy‘s offense. The Chiefs have run their attack through Travis Kelce for years, and Burton will be playing that role in Chicago. The Bears added Robinson, Taylor Gabriel and Anthony Miller to their passing game, but Jahns writes Burton will do the most to elevate Trubisky’s comfort level. Burton has career-high marks of 37 receptions and 327 air yards — both in 2016.
  • Roquan Smith will be staying away from the Bears, whose rookies reported Monday, while his agent finalizes his rookie contract.

Bears Place Leonard Floyd On IR

In not even a week since we learned that Bears linebacker Leonard Floyd seriously injured his right knee, the talented pass rusher has been placed on injured reserve, the team announced on Thursday.

Leonard Floyd (Vertical)

Floyd suffered his knee injury during the team’s game last Sunday against the Lions. The 25-year-old had reportedly sprained two ligaments during the contest, according to Rich Campbell of the Chicago Tribune. So while it wasn’t immediately known if the injury was season-ending, head coach John Fox pretty much implied that Floyd’s outlook for 2017 didn’t appear all too hopeful.

“It’s going to be some time until he can come back, if at all the rest of this season,” Fox told the media this week. “We’ll kind of measure that as we go. But it was good to hear it wasn’t the ACL. It was MCL, PCL. It will require some work to get him fixed, but obviously better news that the total reconstruction.” (Quote courtesy of Campbell).

The second-year pass rush specialist was on track to match and possibly pass is seven sacks that he collected during his rookie season. Floyd tallied 4.5 sacks in ten games this season and ranked as the 67th best pass rusher in the league, according to Pro Football Focus.

Chicago has suffered a number of notable injuries on the offensive side of the ball, but Floyd represents a significant blow to the team’s defense, who had already lost pass rusher Willie Young to the IR in Week 6. The Bears will have to rely on backups Sam Acho and Jonathan Anderson to fill the outside linebacker void for the remainder of the regular season.

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