I wasn’t quite sure what Leonard Floyd’s market would look like when free agency began, but two things were clear on Monday: a) the Rams have no concerns about Floyd’s non-Seahawks sack total and clearly are much higher on him than they were Dante Fowler in 2020 and b) it is good to be an edge rusher.
NFL teams prioritized pass rushers once again and Los Angeles signed Floyd to a four-year, $60 million contract. I compared the deal to the one that Preston Smith got from the Green Bay Packers two years ago (four years, $56 million) and that contract has probably been exactly worth it so far; not necessarily good or bad. Smith had 12 sacks in the first year of the deal but struggled in 2020 and the team renegotiated his contract to essentially take away his $4 million roster bonus this year.
At $16 million per season, Floyd is roughly top-15 in salary among edge rushers. It’s nowhere near the high end of the market and he’s also getting paid for what he brings to the defense other than just sack totals. If all Floyd did was rush the passer and nothing else and he came away with 10.5 sacks — five against the Seahawks — then I doubt the Rams would have re-signed him for $16 million per season. Or that he would have had other teams pursuing him that pushed his value into that range.
ESPN’s Jordan Raanan tweeted on Tuesday that the Giants “Went hard” in an effort to sign Floyd “but Floyd just chose Rams return.” It seems that Floyd was the one that got away for New York this year and if Joe Judge got one thing right in his first season, it was the front seven of his defense.
Heard from multiple league sources that Leonard Floyd was Giants big miss. Went hard, but Floyd just chose Rams return.— Jordan Raanan (@JordanRaanan) March 17, 2021
Also Giants were in mix to some degree on TE Hunter Henry, which is interesting. Shows they weren't necessarily waiting for Leonard Williams deal to get done.
The Rams re-signed Floyd with the hope that he’ll be a consistent pass rusher, but also because of the reassurance that they have that he can also stop the run and do other things on the field that they were able to see first hand last season.