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Rams LB Leonard Floyd putting up numbers like his rookie season again

The Rams may have a difficult time retaining him in 2021 at this rate

Chicago Bears v Los Angeles Rams Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images

As a rookie, Leonard Floyd totaled 32 tackles, seven sacks, nine QB hits, seven tackles for a loss, one forced fumble and one safety over his first 10 games. Floyd was hurt two weeks later and missed the final game of 2016.

Floyd only played in 10 games the next year, but his numbers were strikingly similar except for the fact that he didn’t quite finish off as many pressures for sacks: 34 tackles, 4.5 sacks, 12 QB hits, eight tackles for a loss and one safety. The Chicago Bears did switch head coaches from 2017 to 2018, but Matt Nagy kept defensive coordinator Vic Fangio on board, as well as outside linebackers coach Brandon Staley.

However, Floyd’s playing time decreased, going from 58.2 snaps per game in 2017 to 49.5 snaps per game in 2018. Floyd played in his first full season but still only posted 47 tackles, four sacks, 11 QB hits and nine tackles for a loss. According to Pro-Football-Reference, Floyd had 23 pressures with 13 hurries and six knockdowns.

Then in his final season with the Bears and now playing for defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano, Floyd saw his playing time increase to a career-high 899 snaps and getting in on 84% of Chicago’s plays in 2019. That is 106 more snaps than the year before and 317 more snaps than 2017.

Despite this — and despite being sent on a blitz 51 times — Floyd’s numbers went down: 40 tackles, three sacks, three tackles for a loss and only 12 QB hits.

Floyd’s final campaign with the Bears didn’t give the Rams much competition in signing him after they hired Staley as the new defensive coordinator. Though he was a little bit costly, Floyd only signed a one-year deal and part of his salary is deferred until 2021. Given the stats he has totaled through seven games, at his current rate Floyd will find many more suitors during the next free agency period and his one-year contract could pay off.

Through seven games and 426 snaps with the Rams, Floyd has 23 tackles, four sacks, nine QB hits and six tackles for a loss. He’s 3.5 sacks shy of a new career-high in that category, as well as four QB hits and four tackles for a loss for new career-bests in those, with nine games remaining.

Floyd has been sent on the blitz 45 times already and he has 15 pressures with seven hurries and four knockdowns.

I have been skeptical of Floyd’s value for the last few weeks but it is apparent that with an increased amount of playing time, he’s understandably getting more production and building a better resume. One two-sack game against his former team has made a sizable difference on his season totals but he’s actually been quite consistent in making at least one notable play per game.

Playing nearby Aaron Donald may help as well.