The second day of free agency has led to more dominos falling. Arguably the biggest signing of the day thus far has been pass rusher Robert Quinn agreeing to a 5 year, $70 million contract with the Chicago Bears.
To add an Atlanta element to this story, the Falcons were apparently a finalist for Quinn’s services.
An added layer to this move is that the Bears simultaneously cut former first-round pick Leonard Floyd.
Floyd, who is a Georgia product and former Bulldog, could potentially be looked at as a fallback option for a Falcons team in need of a linebacker with De’Vondre Campbell leaving in free agency.
The former number 9 overall selection in the 2016 NFL Draft had a promising start to his career, notching 7.0 sacks in his rookie season, but he has disappointed in the pass rush department since then — recording just a combined 11.5 sacks in the past three years, including a career-low 3.0 in 2019.
It’s not all bad for the former Dodge County High school standout, however, as Floyd has improved as a run defender as his career has progressed. His Pro Football Focus run defense grade has been a solid 70+ every year after his rookie season, peaking at a very solid 79.3 in 2018.
Floyd has increased his number of run stops with each passing season, improving from 19 in 2016 to 20 in 2017 to 25 in 2018, and finally to a career-high 26 last season. While the sack numbers have gone down consistently, his number of QB hits has remained steady at either 11 or 12 in each of the past three years (after just nine in his rookie year), indicating that he may have been the victim of some bad luck.
However, for a player in Floyd’s role, successfully sacking the quarterback is what results in money being made during free agency. He did not put up the production to justify the $13.2 million fifth-year option he was due this season and the Bears decided to part ways as a result. Maybe they learned something by watching what the Falcons did with Vic Beasley.
Floyd could now potentially be had for a discount after registering a career-low mark in sacks in what was essentially a contract year in 2019. With Atlanta still in need of defensive talent at Floyd’s position could a marriage to the former Bulldog make sense for both parties?