Friday, July 12, 2024

Signs Continue to Grow That Leonard Floyd Is Done in Chicago

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Believe what a GM does, not what he says. This should be the mantra of every football fan out there. Ryan Pace stated that the Chicago Bears liked what Leonard Floyd was able to accomplish in 2019. He was one of the better coverage linebackers in the league and strong against the run. When asked about his three sacks, the GM admitted it wasn’t what the team had hoped for. Keep in mind this included one in the final 15 games.

“Not what they hoped for” is being generous. The Bears traded up to draft Floyd in 2016. He’s a top 10 pick. They fully expected him to become their mainstay at the edge rusher position. His failure to do so forced them to trade for Khalil Mack in 2018 and his failure to even be a compliment to the superstar pretty much spells out the reality. Floyd is a decent player, but he’s a bust.

Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune hinted that because of his lofty $13.222 million price tag via the 5th year option that the Bears might consider moving on. Then on the Bear Download podcast, he doubled down.

“It’s not an easy decision but the more I look at it, the more people I talk to, it makes me wonder if they’re going to actually pay him that money. I know this for a fact. Teams have identified Leonard as a player that they believe could become available in the coming days (or) in the next week if the Bears choose to move on from him and deem that his value, while significant to the defense, does not approach the contract and the salary cap hit that they would have to carry this season.”

Leonard Floyd can only save his job with a pay cut

It feels like the only resolution to this situation is if the 28-year old decides to take some sort of extension that will lower his salary to something closer to what his production demands. This season he’d be getting paid more than Preston Smith, who had 12 sacks in 2019. Obviously that isn’t going to happen. Especially for a cash-strapped team like the Bears. The problem is Floyd understands this is probably his only chance to secure a big long-term contract.

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If he accepts a bargain extension, he’ll be in his 30s by the time he’s on the market and nobody will pay him then. That is why he’ll likely resist such a possibility. Thus the growing belief that the Bears will either trade or release him in the next week or so to free up the cap space, believing they can manage his loss fine while seeking possible upgrades to their edge rush opposite Mack.

Not to mention how it might aid their pursuit of a quarterback.

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