The first domino of the Los Angeles Rams offseason is set to fall later on Friday. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Rams are planning to release Leonard Floyd by the end of the day.
Rams are planning to release OLB Leonard Floyd today, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 10, 2023
The move comes as no real surprise as the Rams told Floyd that they would release him if they were unable to find a trade partner. By the looks of things, general manager Les Snead was unable to find a trade partner and will opt simply to release the Rams edge rusher.
By releasing Floyd, the Rams will open up $3M in 2023 while eating $19M in dead money. However, with eyes set on 2024, this opens up nearly $20M in cap space for next offseason
Floyd joined the Rams in 2020 after a disappointing first four seasons with the Chicago Bears in which some considered him to be a bust. Selected in the top-10 of the 2016 NFL Draft, Floyd had 18.5 sacks in four years with the Bears.
Upon joining the Rams, Floyd had a career-high 10.5 sacks in his first season in Los Angeles. Over the last three years, he’s by far been the best edge rusher on the Rams roster, accumulating 29 sacks. While Aaron Donald has certainly helped open things up for Floyd, he’s also the only Rams edge rusher with more than five sacks in any one season.
By releasing Floyd, the need for an edge rusher becomes even more prominent. Coming into the offseason, the need for an edge rusher opposite of Floyd was already there. Now, that position will need to be a primary focus for the front office. Outside of Aaron Donald, the Rams have 10 sacks between six players, two of which are defensive backs. Michael Hoecht leads the group with 4.5 sacks. Daniel Hardy was a seventh-round pick last offseason and played 41 defensive snaps as a rookie.
We’ll see what ensuing moves the Rams make and which players they bring in during the draft. However, in a league dominated by the quarterback, the Rams will need to find a premier pass-rusher.