(CBS Chicago) — The Chicago Bears released outside linebacker Leonard Floyd. The four-year veteran is coming off a three-sack, 40-tackle season. While Floyd routinely pressured opposing quarterbacks, his three sacks were his lowest total since he entered the league.
Floyd earned about $15.8 million in his four years with the Bears and was scheduled to make $13.2 million in the optional fifth year of his rookie contract. The Bears opted against picking up that sizable option, given the team’s tight salary cap.
Floyd was an under-performing piece of an often formidable Bears defense. While the linebacker didn’t miss a game since the 2017 season, his pending salary was a high price to pay for his services, especially with the team’s needs on the offensive side of the ball. Since the Bears reportedly agreed to terms with defensive end and elite pass rusher Robert Quinn, Floyd had become even more expendable.
Floyd was drafted in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft (ninth overall). He had picked up 18.5 sacks during his time in Chicago, along with 154 combined tackles. His season sack totals actually dropped each season since his rookie year. Even with all the opposition’s attention aimed at Khalil Mack the last two seasons, Floyd was unable to turn that trend around.