5 reasons Leonard Floyd will return in 2020

Chicago Bears (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
2 of 5
GREEN BAY, WI - SEPTEMBER 09: Leonard Floyd #94 of the Chicago Bears warms up before a game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on September 9, 2018 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
GREEN BAY, WI – SEPTEMBER 09:. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

4. Fifth-year breakouts

The fact of the matter is that we have seen recent examples of edge rushers taking four years to fight through adversity, but by their fifth NFL season, they broke out in a big way. There is something about being motivated by free agency looming that can give a player an extra gear in their step.

Look at Bud Dupree in 2019 for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Injuries, dropping into coverage, and changing sides were all excuses given to Bud Dupree as he accumulated 19.5 sacks in four years. Sounds familiar, right?

The Steelers stuck with their first-round pick and were rewarded with 11.5 sacks in a healthy, breakout fifth-year.

Dee Ford started his career behind Tamba Hali and Justin Houston. Then, the injuries came. He had 17.5 sacks through four years, less than Floyd. Still, he was a first-round pick and the Chiefs let him play out his fifth-year option. He rewarded them with 13 sacks.

How about we go all the way back to 2012 and Nick Perry? He had 12.5 sacks through four years with the Packers. However, they stuck by Perry for year five and Perry gave them 11 sacks.

To say that a fifth-year breakout is not on the table is a bit misguided, as we have seen plenty of recent examples.