Les Snead explains why Rams prioritized Leonard Floyd: ‘More than just an edge rusher’

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Cameron DaSilva
·2 min read
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There were two players at the top of the Rams’ list of pending free agents this year: John Johnson and Leonard Floyd. It was always unlikely that they’d be able to retain both stud defenders, so they were essentially forced to pick between the two.

Not surprisingly, Los Angeles opted to bring back Floyd, giving him a four-year deal worth $64 million, including $32.5 million. With good depth at safety and a glaring hole at outside linebacker, the Rams wisely prioritized their edge rusher.

On Friday, Les Snead explained why the Rams opened their wallet for Floyd, calling him more than just a pass rusher. See his thoughts on Floyd in the Twitter thread from Stu Jackson of the team’s site below.

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When Floyd arrived in Los Angeles last year, Sean McVay and Snead shared a similar evaluation of the former Bears linebacker. Known primarily for his ability to stop the run and drop into coverage, Floyd showed in 2020 that he can also rush the passer consistently.

He recorded a career-high 10.5 sacks and 19 QB hits, taking full advantage of the one-on-one opportunities that came with playing on the same team as Aaron Donald. He’s an important part of the defense, doing an excellent job setting the edge, creating tough throwing lanes for quarterbacks and making tackles behind the line in the runnng game.

If he can continue to rack up double-digit sacks and remain an elite run defender in the next few seasons, the Rams will feel good about giving him $16 million per year.