The Philadelphia Eagles could be the ideal landing spot for a notable free agent.
As Heavy Sports’ Matt Lombardo wrote, outside linebacker Leonard Floyd remains a free agent following the conclusion of the 2023 NFL draft. Floyd is one of the top five remaining free agents on the market, and Lombardo wrote that the Eagles are one of the top three “best” fits for Floyd.
“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,” Lombardo wrote. “In 2022, Floyd racked up 9.0 sacks and 59 total tackles, before becoming a Los Angeles Rams cap casualty in GM Les Sneed’s mad dash to get cap compliant.”
Why Leonard Floyd Is Considered a Top Free Agent
The 30-year-old Floyd is coming off of the best three-year stretch of his career. The former Los Angeles Rams defender posted 9 sacks last season and 29 sacks over the past three seasons. Not only has Floyd been productive, he’s been durable — he hasn’t missed a game since the 2017 season.
Since the 2020 season, Floyd’s 29 sacks are the fourth-most of any linebacker in the NFL.
According to Spotrac, Floyd’s market value is $13.7 million per season across three years for a total of over $41.2 million. That would make him the 10th-highest paid outside linebacker in the NFL.
While there’s little doubt Floyd would prosper in the Eagles’ front seven, the question is, does Philadelphia really have a need for the veteran pass rusher after the draft?
The Eagles selected University of Georgia linebacker Nolan Smith with the No. 30 overall pick to play the role that Floyd would play for Philadelphia — and he’s doing it at a projected rate of just under $12 million total with a $2.2 million salary cap hit for the 2023 season.
According to Spotrac, the Eagles have $14.3 million in cap space, the 14th-highest amount in the league.
Eagles May Sign Leonard Floyd as Potential Upgrade
Philadelphia may have a potential weakness at weakside linebacker where Nicholas Morrow is the projected starter. The Eagles signed the veteran linebacker after he led the Chicago Bears with 116 tackles during the 2022 season.
Although Morrow is coming off of a career year, the advanced analytics paint a less positive picture. According to Pro Football Focus, Morrow posted a 54.0 defensive grade and just a 46.8 run defensive grade during the 2022 season. For perspective, there isn’t a single projected starter on the Eagles’ defense that posted lower than a 60.2 defensive grade.
It’s worth mentioning that the Eagles signed Morrow to a deal worth a shade under $1.2 million. In other words, Philadelphia could easily cut bait with Morrow if they don’t find him to be a viable starter.
If the Eagles have any hesitation with Morrow, Floyd would make perfect sense to play the outside linebacker spot opposite of Reddick. However, the presence of Smith makes the need a little less pressing.
Whether or not the Eagles show serious interest in Floyd may come down to whether or not the veteran is willing to take a discount for another opportunity at winning a Super Bowl.