Hey, this is what 5-12 does to you. Find better players.
News broke Monday that the Rams were preparing to release Floyd unless they could find a trade partner for him. I’ll never understand the idea of announcing you’ll release a guy unless you can get a trade because you reduce his value so much.
Floyd joined the Rams in 2020, signing a one-year what they call “prove it” deal in the NFL (basically, one year for low money to see if you can still play). He started every game and had 10.5 sacks, so the Rams signed him to a four-year $64 million deal in 2021, but now they’re ready to move on.
Who would be interested in Floyd? Why are the Rams moving on and how much gas does Floyd have in the tank?
The Leonard Floyd File
Floyd was the number nine pick overall by the Bears in 2016. He joined a lousy team that went 3-13 his first year and 5-11 his season year. He had some injury issues his first two years and only played in 22 games.
In 2018, the Bears brought in new coach Matt Nagy, went 12-4 and made the (doink) playoffs (double doink) losing to the Eagles. Floyd started all 16 games and had four sacks.
The next year the (doink) Bears were back to (doink) lousy. They brought in Khalil Mack and the writing was on the wall for Floyd.
With the Rams Floyd has been good. He’s never made the Pro Bowl and I can’t really point to one Ram game where it was like, “wow, Leonard Floyd just took over.” His best year was the Super Bowl year with a career high in tackles (70) and solo tackles (35). He had 9.5 sacks. Floyd had a sack in the Super Bowl.
The Rams re-did his contract in 2022 to convert a lot of base salary into a bonus (so it doesn’t count against the cap). They’ll save some money by releasing/trading Floyd and calling him a post-June 1 release.
At this point in his career, Floyd has value as both a situational pass rusher and every-down linebacker. The Rams could ask for a late-round draft pick for him.
Why Are the Rams Moving On?
Maybe it’s something about ex-Bears and the Rams. The Rams also said Monday they’re letting wide receiver Allen Robinson II (another former Bear) look for a trade.
This basically means that Robinson’s agent can call NFL GMs and pester them.
This just comes down to a production versus cost thing. Floyd makes a lot of money for a player who had nine sacks, and again, the Rams were 5-12. I said this about Bobby Wagner yes, I know you might think he was good. The Rams were 5-12.
The one thing about announcing their plans is it tells everyone in the NFL to make a bid. It only takes one team to really like Leonard Floyd for the Rams to get something for him. Then the Rams whisper to that team that another team is interested and create a bidding war.
(In reality, the teams just call the Rams bluff and wait for him to be released).
Who Could Want Leonard Floyd?
Don’t overthink this. It’s not just the right landing spot for a team that could use pass rush help or a veteran linebacker, it comes down to every other job in the world. Who do you know?
Here are some potential spots for Floyd:
Floyd is from Atlanta. He went to Georgia. The Falcons ranked second-to-last in the NFL last year with 21 sacks (that’s sad). They had linebacker Lorenzo Carter on a one-year prove-it deal this year and he’s a free agent now. The Falcons also have nine draft picks, including two in the fourth, one in the fifth. So there’s need there and something to offer.
The Chargers are going to come up because one, head coach Brandon Staley was the Rams DC in 2020 so he knows Floyd, two, they’re right across town, three, Floyd and Khalil Mack would be reunited. The Chargers pass rush was OK last year. Is Floyd better than Kyle Van Noy at this point?
Again, it’s about who you know. Guess who was a senior defensive assistant for the Colts last year? John Fox. Who was the Bears head coach when Floyd was in Chicago? John Fox.
Fox may not be coming back now that the Colts cleaned house, but he could put in a word for Floyd. The Colts are weak at linebacker and have a bunch of late round picks.
Let’s play the who do you know game again. The Dolphins new defensive coordinator is Vic Fangio, who was (wait for it) the Bears DC when Floyd was there. The Dolphins have two good young linebackers in Elandon Roberts and Jerome Baker, but Roberts is a free agent. The bad news is the Dolphins have only five draft picks, so not a lot to give the Rams.
And the Panthers new defensive coordinator is…Ejiro Evero, who was on the Rams defensive staff when Floyd was here. The Panthers had only 35 sacks but do have a good tandem of linebackers in Shaq Thompson and Frankie Luvu, but combined they only had 7.5 sacks. The Panthers do have two fourth-round picks.