The Detroit Lions have a breakout star in Aidan Hutchinson, but one insider believes they should look to add an accomplished counterpart to round out their edge rush next season.
Bleacher Report broke down free agency needs for every team, suggesting that the Lions target Buffalo Bills pass rusher Leonard Floyd in free agency. The veteran, who came to Buffalo after his $64 million contract with the Los Angeles Rams expired, is on pace for a career-best season and has been a driving force for the Bills as current and former teammate Von Miller continues to work back into shape.
Lions Could Add Veteran Defensive End
Despite jumping out to an 8-2 record and a lead in the NFC North, the Lions have struggled on defense at times and relied on Jared Goff and the high-powered offense to bail them out. Targeting Floyd could help the Lions shore up what Bleacher Report called one of their “biggest weaknesses” and could offset the loss of a pair of veterans.
“While Aidan Hutchinson has been fantastic this season and is blossoming into one of the better edge-defenders in the league, Detroit could use someone on the opposite side of him to put pressure on the quarterback,” the report noted. “That’s been one of their biggest weaknesses in 2023, and it could carry over into next year when Romeo Okwara and Charles Harris hit free agency.”
The report added that Floyd could be the perfect fit for a Lions team looking to prove its worth as a Super Bowl contender.
“Floyd has a good track record of success as a pass-rusher with 54.5 career sacks, and he has continued to be productive this season with seven sacks through the Bills’ first 10 games of the year” the report noted “Plus, he’s an older veteran who would probably be willing to take a cheaper deal to play for a Super Bowl contender.”
Lions Could Face Competition
It might not be easy for the Lions to land Floyd. The veteran pass rusher has been one of the most consistent players for a Bills defense hit hard by injuries, and showed commitment to the Bills when he turned down bigger offers in free agency to come to Buffalo.
With Miller getting off to a slow start after returning from a torn ACL, Floyd has been the team’s top pass rusher and flourished in head coach Sean McDermott’s heavy rotational system for defensive linemen.
Floyd, who had been an every-down lineman in the past, is playing in close to half of the defensive snaps for the Bills and said it has done wonders for his production.
“Every other team I’ve played on, I played all the snaps, and that kind of maybe held back from my production a little bit from playing so many snaps,” Floyd said in a November 13 interview, via Spectrum News. “With playing a few snaps, I’m fresh and my production can be high, because I’m 100% when I get out there.”
“You got to get used to coming in and pitching with your best pitches as soon as coach puts you in the game rather than warming up,” Floyd added. “You’ve got to come in hot.”