The Los Angeles Rams are heading toward organized team activities (OTA’s) without their top sack leader from last season Leonard Floyd.
The former $64 million edge defender Floyd, though, is entering the summer period still searching for an NFL suitor.
Heavy NFL senior reporter Matt Lombardo wrote down “Flo” as one of his five best remaining free agents for 2023 on Thursday, May 4. The towering 6-foot-6 outside linebacker/defensive end remains unsigned after being a March 10 release by the Rams.
“Unlike some names still available, Leonard Floyd has been able to stay healthy and on the field, appearing in every game since 2017, while producing at a high level. In 2022, Floyd racked up 9.0 sacks and 59 total tackles, before becoming a Los Angeles Rams cap casualty in GM [general manager] Les Snead’s mad dash to get cap compliant,” Lombardo wrote. “Ideally, competitive teams looking for pass-rush help would be lining up to drop Floyd into their defense, at or near the top of the depth chart.”
Floyd, 30, delivered his most success inside the “Rams House” with 29 of his 47.5 sacks coming in his last three seasons with the franchise — including the team-high nine he delivered.
But who looks like a potential fit for “Flo” with the ’23 season looming? Lombardo wrote down these three teams:
Green Bay Packers
The Packers already have one past teammate of Floyd, resigning fellow edge rusher Justin Hollins during the offseason.
Hollins and Floyd were members of the Super Bowl 56 Rams team. The Packers, meanwhile, addressed the OLB/edge room immediately in the 2023 NFL Draft through Lukas Van Ness at No. 13 overall.
The Pack may become convinced to plug Van Ness inside, as he once played a 4i technique (lined up over the tackle while an OLB was next to him) in a 3-4 look. But adding Floyd can help add a needed veteran presence who knows the NFC North having played for the Chicago Bears.
There’s more: Green Bay’s defensive coordinator Joe Barry has familiarity with Floyd — having spent the 2020 season in L.A. as the Rams’ linebackers coach when Floyd was in his first season there.
New York Giants
Could the G-Men become the Los Angeles Rams east?
The Giants signed safety Terrell Burgess late in the 2022 season after being waived by the Rams. They then added to their defensive line room on April 25 through former Rams nose tackle A’Shawn Robinson, who signed a one-year, $5 million deal.
While the Giants signed top pass rusher Dexter Lawrence to his blockbuster $90 million deal Thursday, the Giants will need their edge rush room to take a big step. Top five pick Kayvon Thibodeaux produced just four sacks while Azeez Ojulari led the edge rush room with only five sacks.
Adding a veteran like Floyd can bolster the rotation here in the Big Apple.
Here we go again…the theme of the NFC champion Eagles loading up an already loaded group.
Except, there’s these reasons for Philly to maybe consider a veteran like Floyd: They’ve taken past Rams before in Robert Quinn and Ndamukong Suh — both became a part of their run to Super Bowl 57.
Furthermore, even with drafting ultra-quick Nolan Smith to be paired with Hasson Reddick, Brandon Graham isn’t getting younger at 35 and Quinn’s departure opens up one more edge rush spot.
If Floyd wants another attempt at the Vince Lombardi Trophy, Philly is capable of being that destination.