Newly Released Rams Defender Already Called Fit for NFC Contender

Leonard Floyd

Getty Leonard Floyd before the November 13, 2022 game versus Arizona.

As anticipated, Leonard Floyd has moved out of the “Rams House,” as the Los Angeles Rams announced his release on the afternoon of Friday, March 10.

The Rams, who received 29 sacks from “Flo” including a team-high nine in 2022, took to Twitter to say their thanks to the Super Bowl champion from the 2021 season.

The move is set to save the Rams $3 million against the 2023 salary cap, while freeing up $30 million in cash. Floyd was on a four-year, $64 million deal with the franchise. But already, there’s the thought of “Flo” heading over to one NFC contender that finds itself needing an extra pass rushing boost.

Super Bowl GM ‘Could Like’ Floyd: Analyst

While the Rams have gone with a remodel plan for the 2023 season, the subsequent NFC champion the Philadelphia Eagles have begun to make their roster alterations for the upcoming season — which includes the pass rush room.

Which leads to Brenden Deeg of The Score believing that Eagles general manager Howie Roseman “could like” the now available edge rusher. Plus he believes the veteran Floyd would be affordable at this stage of his career.

“Leonard Floyd is a guy Howie could like. He won’t go against the comp pick formula, and he was in Chicago with Sean Desai. He has 29 sacks over the last three years and could be cheap at 30 years old,” Deeg posted.

Here’s what the Eagles are facing in the pass rushing room: Star interior defender Javon Hargrave isn’t expected to return. Neither is former Ram Ndamukong Suh plus another Ex-Ram in edge rusher Robert Quinn.

Perhaps Floyd can come in and give Philly the production Quinn never gave to the defense, as Quinn became lost in a deep room of QB attackers. Plus the idea of having a long 9-10 sack threat in Floyd next to the freakishly quick Hasson Reddick could be even more enticing for the Eagles — especially with opposing blocking schemes likely to draw up counter attacks for the defender who delivered 16 sacks this past season.

Who Can Rams Turn to in the Absence of ‘Flo?’

Meanwhile back inside the “Rams House,” the team now must figure out who’ll emerge or who to add in their own edge rush room…which is now thinner than ever.

Severing ties with “Flo” now leaves seventh rounder Daniel Hardy and Michael Hoecht as the top options — the latter a converted defensive tackle who slid to the outside as the injuries stockpiled. The team also parted ways with three rushers during the season in Takkarist McKinley, Justin Hollins and Terrell Lewis.

Edge rusher/outside linebacker is a needy area come March 15 when teams can make signings. But it’s also a spot the Rams can address with one or more of their 10 draft selections in April for the 2023 NFL Draft.

Perhaps the Rams can opt for a familiar face who’s an unrestricted free agent in Ogbo Okoronkwo, who delivered career best numbers in his one season with the Houston Texans. Okoronkwo was a popular player inside the Rams’ locker room and part of the Super Bowl 56 run. But other, more established names are set to be available in four-time Pro Bowler and 34-year-old Justin Houston, three-time Pro Bowler Jadeveon Clowney, New Orleans Saints veteran Marcus Davenport (delivered nine sacks in 2021), journeyman Yannick Ngakoue (has never fallen below eight sacks in seven season career) and perhaps a reunion with Quinn — who delivered his best sack season (19 in 2013) with the Rams.

But there’s an abundance of edge options via the draft — as names like Will McDonald IV of Iowa State, Derick Hall of Auburn and B.J. Olujari of LSU could be second or third round options for the Rams.

Rams Announce Other Roster Moves

Floyd wasn’t the lone roster move on Friday. The team also announced waive/no recalls for the following players:

  • Roger Carter, tight end
  • T.J. Carter, defensive back
  • J.J. Koski, wide receiver
  • Jared Pinkey, TE
  • Jaquarii Roberson, wide receiver
  • Jerreth Sterns, WR
  • Brayden Thomas, defensive end
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