Monday, May 20, 2024

A Solution to Leonard Floyd and His Bloated 2020 Contract


The Chicago Bears have a number of contract issues on their hands. Perhaps the most perplexing is outside linebacker Leonard Floyd. By picking up the 5th year option in his rookie deal last January, the team controls him going into 2020. However, that control translates to a $13.222 million salary cap hit. Considering the 28-year old finished with just three sacks in 16 games this past season, it’s hard to justify keeping him at that price.

One would think the Bears might consider just cutting him outright. That doesn’t seem likely. GM Ryan Pace made it clear after the season ended that the team loves the role Floyd plays in their defense. For what he lacks in pass rush production, he somewhat makes up for in his run defense and ability to drop into coverage. Replacing that would be difficult, thus the team is in a quandary. They like what Floyd brings to the table, but they’d prefer not to have to pay $13 million for it.

This is where the idea of a contract extension comes into play. One that offers the team a more friendly cap situation while giving the defender a little financial security. Kevin Fishbain of The Athletic, with help from BradOTC of came up with a possible solution.

Leonard Floyd: 4 years, $47.35 million with $18.5 million guaranteed

Remember — don’t get caught up with the total value. Rarely does a player get all the way to the end of a contract and make every penny. Any contract restructuring for Floyd would likely have to include guaranteeing him at least the $13.222 million he’s set to earn in 2020. That would be the baseline.

This contract brings his cap charge down $4.6 million, which is a big reduction.”

Leonard Floyd would get a nice compromise this way

Basically, by doing this Floyd’s cap in 2020 would be $8.622 million. That would give the team considerably more flexibility while allowing them to keep a player they like at the same time. He gets a nice guaranteed bump with a chance to renegotiate in two years if he ends up finally having that elusive breakout year. While some would prefer Floyd to just be gone, the reality is this move is the most logical. It gives the Bears a little more financial wiggle room without having to sacrifice a starter on their top-ranked defense.

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That $4.6 million could then be put towards other areas of need on the roster. In an offseason like this, every dollar they can scrounge up makes a difference.

What’s unclear in this is what Floyd wants. Being 28, this is likely the best chance he’ll ever have to secure a lucrative contract extension. If he feels such an offer isn’t good enough, he could decline. This would force the Bears into a tough spot. Either pay him the 5th year option or consider alternatives such as a trade or cutting him outright. This will be something to watch as free agency approaches in March.

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