Leonard Floyd

Restructured Contracts: Saints, Floyd, Hyde, Barrett

While teams are currently focused on adding free agents, some front offices are looking to carve out some extra cap space. We’ve collected some of today’s restructured deals below:

  • The Saints opened up some extra cap space earlier today. According to ESPN’s Field Yates (on Twitter), the team restructured the contracts of defensive tackle David Onyemata and offensive tackle James Hurst. The moves saved the team an extra $7.015MM. Onyemata inked a three-year, $27MM deal with the Saints in 2020, and he already reworked his contract last offseason. A year ago yesterday, Hurst inked a three-year, $9MM extension with New Orleans.
  • The Rams opened up $12MM in cap space by reworking Leonard Floyd‘s contract, according to Yates (on Twitter). Floyd signed a four-year, $64MM extension with the organization last year. In two years with the Rams, the edge rusher has collected 20 sacks, and he’s added another four in six playoff games.
  • The Bills converted $5.68MM of safety Micah Hyde’s contract into a signing bonus, opening $4.54MM in cap space, per Yates (on Twitter). The veteran signed a two-year, $19.25MM extension with Buffalo last offseason. Hyde has spent the past five seasons in Buffalo, earning a pair of Pro Bowl nods while only missing a pair of regular season games.
  • The Buccaneers restructured Shaq Barrett’s contract, per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter). The move should open up just under $10MM in cap space, according to Greg Auman of The Athletic (on Twitter). After playing the 2020 season under the franchise tag, Barrett inked a four-year, $72MM deal ($36MM guaranteed) with the Buccaneers last offseason.

NFL Contract Details: Jones, Floyd, Williams, QBs

Some assorted contract details from around the NFL:

  • RB Aaron Jones, Packers: Four years, $48MM, including $20MM over first two years. $7MM roster bonus in 2023. Owed $16MM in 2023 and $12MM in 2024. Via NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero on Twitter.
  • LB Leonard Floyd, Rams: Four years, $64MM, including $32.5MM guaranteed. $14MM signing bonus. Salaries: $2MM (2021, fully guaranteed), $16.5MM (2022, fully guaranteed), $15.5MM (2023), $16MM (2024). Via Pelissero on Twitter.
  • DE Leonard Williams, Giants: Three years, $63MM, including $45MM. $22.5MM signing bonus. Salaries: $3.5MM (2021, fully guaranteed), $19MM (2022, fully guaranteed), $18MM (2023). Cap charges: $11MM (2021), $26.5MM (2022), $25.5MM (2023). Via Manish Mehta on Twitter.
  • QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, Washington: One year, $10MM, including $6MM guaranteed. Max value of $12MM. $6MM signing bonus. $3MM base salary, $1MM per-game roster bonuses. Up to $2MM in incentives. Via Nicki Jhabvala of the Washington Post on Twitter.
  • QB Jacoby Brissett, Dolphins: One year, $5MM, including $2.5MM guaranteed. $2.5MM signing bonus, up to $2.5MM in incentives. Via Pelissero on Twitter.
  • QB Andy Dalton, Bears: One year, $10MM. $7MM signing bonus, $3MM base salary, up to $3MM in incentives. Via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle on Twitter.
  • LB Carl Lawson, Jets: Three years, $45MM, including $30MM guaranteed. $1MM signing bonus. Salaries: $6.2MM (2021, plus $7.8MM roster bonus), $15MM (2022), $15MM (2023). Cap charges: $14.3MM (2021), $15.3MM (2022), $15.3MM (2023). Up to $800K in sack incentives each year. Via Mehta on Twitter.

Rams To Re-Sign LB Leonard Floyd

5:35pm: The Floyd market moved fast. The Giants pushed to sign him, but the Rams will win the sweepstakes, Anderson tweets. Floyd will stay in Los Angeles on a four-year, $64MM deal, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets.

This represents a major win for Floyd, who saw the Bears release him prior to his fifth-year option vesting in 2020. Floyd will follow Fowler in riding a Rams contract year into free agency success. The Rams are making their biggest commitment to an edge defender in years here, doing so after trading Robert Quinn and letting Fowler walk. The team’s journey toward cap compliance will continue, however, with the team now having three front-seven bastions — Donald, Floyd and Michael Brockers — signed to veteran deals.

5:15pm: Although the Rams let Dante Fowler walk in free agency last year, they are not quite ready to lose another edge rusher. They remain in talks with Leonard Floyd, according to veteran NFL reporter Josina Anderson, who notes the discussions are going well (Twitter link).

The Rams will still need to clear considerable cap space to keep Floyd. They reside more than $30MM over the cap. Teams must comply with the $182.5MM salary ceiling by 3pm March 17, when the 2021 league year starts.

Like Fowler, Floyd produced in a contract year. The former Bears first-round pick, whom Chicago cut after an inconsistent tenure, recorded a career-best 10.5 sacks while teaming with Aaron Donald in Los Angeles. After battling injury issues early in his career, Floyd has now played in 16 games in each of the past three seasons.

More edge rushers are available this year, compared to a 2020 offseason in which several received franchise tags. Like Fowler, Floyd did not. And he is in much better position to land a strong deal than he was last year, when the Rams signed him to a one-year pact worth $10MM. It will be interesting to see if Floyd can improve on that salary soon.

Giants Pushing To Sign Leonard Floyd

5:34pm: This market moved fast. The Giants’ push for Floyd did not end in a deal. The Rams are bringing him back. Although other edge rushers remain available, the market is thinning. Floyd, Yannick Ngakoue and Matt Judon have chosen their teams.

5:31pm: Featuring an edge-rushing need for a couple of years now, the Giants are trying to poach the Rams’ top outside sack artist. They are making a push to sign Leonard Floyd, per Dianna Russini of ESPN.com (on Twitter).

The Rams have not given up on re-signing Floyd; they remain in talks with the former first-round pick. The Giants are not in the finalizing stage yet here, Russini adds, so a bidding war may be taking place.

A Floyd agreement would be interesting for the Giants, who have used their franchise tag on Leonard Williams. A two-Leonard front seven would make re-signing Dalvin Tomlinson quite difficult. The Williams tag has left the Giants with less than $3MM in cap space, so the team still has moves to make ahead of the March 17 start to the 2021 league year.

NFC West Rumors: Fitzgerald, Gould, Reed

Speculating about Larry Fitzgerald‘s future has become something of a holiday tradition over the past few seasons. The surefire Hall-of-Famer did say earlier this year that if the Cardinals were to win Super Bowl LV, he would ride off into the sunset, but Arizona’s hopes for its first Lombardi Trophy suffered a major blow in an upset loss to the 49ers last night.

So will Fitz be back in 2021? As Rachel Gossen of ArizonaSports.com writes, head coach Kliff Kingsbury said he believes Fitzgerald could play for another four seasons, but Fitzgerald himself was noncommittal.

“I haven’t really given it much thought to be honest with you,” he said. Though Fitzgerald did add that it will be nice to have fans back in the stands when it’s safe, Kingsbury downplayed the notion that Fitzgerald would return just to receive a proper sendoff from the Cardinals’ faithful.

As we wait to see whether one of the best receivers in NFL history will call it a career, and as the Cards focus on keeping their fading playoff hopes alive, let’s round up a few more notes from the NFC West:

  • The 49ers have a big decision to make on kicker Robbie Gould this week. Per the four-year extension Gould signed in 2019, San Francisco has until January 2 to pick up an option that would guarantee $2.25MM of Gould’s $4.5MM 2021 salary. Gould had hit 90.5% of his field goal attempts heading into last night’s matchup with Arizona, but he missed two FGA’s and a PAT in a 20-12 win that could have been more decisive. However, head coach Kyle Shanahan said the performance will not impact the team’s decision on Gould’s contract. “You got to look at the body of work, and Robbie has been unbelievable,” Shanahan said (Twitter link via Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area).
  • Claimed off waivers from the division-rival 49ers in August, Seahawks CB D.J. Reed has been a great find for Seattle. In eight games (six starts), Reed has lined up both in the slot and outside the numbers and has accumulated 49 tackles, two interceptions, and six passes defensed while yielding a modest 77.9 passer rating as the nearest defender (via NFL Next Gen stats). Though the 5-9 Reed does not fit the mold of the big-bodied specimens that Seattle generally prefers at the outside corner positions, Brady Henderson of ESPN.com thinks his presence could make the club more amenable to moving on from contract-year players Quinton Dunbar and Shaquill Griffin. Reed will be entering the final year of his rookie deal in 2021.
  • As Jourdan Rodrigue of The Athletic points out, the Rams would be about $26MM over the 2021 salary cap if the cap is decreased to $175MM as many expect. So while the club can certainly restructure the contracts of players like Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp to create space, it will also have tough decisions to make on pending free agents. Rodrigue posits that, if DC Brandon Staley gets hired as a head coach, he may try to bring safety John Johnson and outside linebacker Leonard Floyd with him, though Los Angeles will doubtlessly prioritize re-ups with both players. Meanwhile, Rodrigue sees players like WR Josh Reynolds and TE Gerald Everett signing elsewhere this offseason.

Rams Claim LB Justin Hollins, Add 15 To Practice Squad

The Rams left their roster at 52 players after cutdown day, and the team filled the roster spot with a player familiar with their new defensive coordinator.

Los Angeles submitted a waiver claim for Justin Hollins, a linebacker whom Denver cut Saturday, and the 2019 draft pick will rejoin Brandon Staley. The Broncos used Hollins at both inside and outside linebacker spots last season; Staley coached Denver’s outside linebackers in 2019.

This will bring another ex-Staley pupil to L.A. The Rams already signed Leonard Floyd, whom Staley coach in Chicago, to be a starter. Hollins, a fifth-round pick out of Oregon, profiles as a depth piece.

The Rams also set their practice squad Sunday. All 15 players were in camp with the Rams this year, so for those hoping to go in fresh for the Hard Knocks finale next week, this is the spoiler warning.

Here is how the Rams’ practice squad looks:

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.

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.

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.

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.