The Rams have the game’s best interior pass rusher in defensive tackle Aaron Donald. Some of the biggest beneficiaries of his play are the edge rushers around him.
Leonard Floyd signed a one-year, $10 million deal with the Rams last season and turned in the best season of his career with 10.5 sacks, 11 tackles for loss, 19 quarterback hits, a forced fumble, and a pair of fumble recoveries.
In a salary-cap crunch, the Rams weren’t necessarily expected to retain Floyd’s services, but they re-signed him to a four-year, $64 million deal — which was a shift from last year’s strategy.
After Dante Fowler had a career year in 2019, the club let him sign a lucrative deal with the Falcons in favor of a short-term deal with Floyd.
So why the change?
“It’s more than just an edge rusher. Leonard’s a special athlete, with instincts to play the run game, set edges, the athletic ability to run along that front seven,” General Manager Les Snead said Friday, via Stu Jackson of the team’s website. “You’ve got to be athletic, you’ve got to be able to have the instincts to run those plays and have that athletic ability to close and finish those plays, to be more than just a disruptor.”
If Floyd continues to produce double-digit sacks and tackles for loss, the contract will be money well spent.