The Bears exercised their option on linebacker Leonard Floyd‘s contract for the 2020 season last year and that means they’re on the hook for a $13.2 million salary that’s currently guaranteed in the case of injury only.
It will be totally guaranteed if the Bears don’t rescind the option before the start of the new league year next Wednesday, which leaves the Bears with a decision to make. Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune reports that there’s a belief around the league the team could pull back the option at some point in the next week and look elsewhere for help at linebacker.
Outside linebackers are generally valued as pass rushers and Floyd has 11.5 sacks since notching seven during his rookie season in 2016. That’s likely why General Manager Ryan Pace focused on other areas when discussing Floyd at the Scouting Combine.
“He’s close in a lot of areas when you look at the pressures and those things,” Pace said. “He just needs to finish a little better on the quarterback. But when you’re evaluating him, you have to factor in everything: his run defense, his ability in coverage. We consider him our Sam outside linebacker, so we value what he can do in coverage and think sometimes that goes a little underrated . . . for a guy of his stature. Not many outside linebackers can drop in coverage like he does.”
The Bears have to decide if the overall package is worth the price tag or if they feel they can get something similar with less impact on their salary cap.