Chicago Bears fans are calling for the team to release Leonard Floyd, but it is not going to happen
Chicago Bears are at a crossroads with Leonard Floyd. Floyd has not produced at the level of a top ten pick, but with his fifth-year option getting picked up, he is getting paid like a serious edge rusher and is not signed beyond this year.
Fans and analysts have wondered if the Bears will rescind his fifth-year option, which would save them $13 million on the salary cap.
However, that is not going to happen. Whether the Bears let Floyd play on the option, and let him enter free agency after, or they extend him to reduce the cap hit, Leonard Floyd will be on the Chicago Bears in 2020, here is why
5. Value is closer to salary than you think
When looking at similar edge rushers who had similar sack totals to Floyd through four years, there are plenty of players with those sack totals who got paid on the open market.
Look no further than ZaDarius Smith. Smith had 18.5 sacks through four years, the exact same total as Leonard Floyd. Since Smith was not a first-round pick, he did not get a fifth-year option. His lack of production did not stop him from getting $16 million per year on an open market.
The fact is that pass rusher is a rare position. There are not many great ones, and you have to pay to keep players with any promise at the position. At his $13 million per year salary, Floyd would rank about 19th for players at his position. His salary sounds high, but compared to his peers, is not astronomical.
Floyd did not quite have the same pressure numbers as Smith through four years, but considering his production, and the market for pass rushers, Floyd could expect to see $11 million per year on an open market. That is just the going rate for players like him.
Paying Floyd $13 million per year when he is arguably worth closer to $11 is a bit of an overpay, but is not nearly as drastic as fans may think.