Chicago Bears: Team picks up Leonard Floyd’s fifth year option

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

The Bears picked up Leonard Floyd’s fifth-year option for the 2020 season, but should they just have extended him?

The Chicago Bears have picked up the fifth-year option for outside linebacker Leonard Floyd. He will have a cap hit of $13.2 million in 2020 (via Spotrac).

Floyd was drafted ninth overall in the 2016 NFL Draft out of Georgia. He was a bit undersized for what the Bears were looking for, so he was put on a rigorous meal plan to help him gain some weight.

Floyd had seven sacks as a rookie in just 12 games, but his production dipped in his second season with just 4.5 sacks. He played in the first ten games of the 2017 season, but suffered a knee injury on November 19th and was shutdown for the remainder of the season. Floyd would have surgery on that knee.

He has had injury problems in all three seasons so far with the most recent coming in the form of a fractured hand prior the beginning of the 2018 season. Floyd did not let the injury slow him down as he was played with a cast on his hand for the first several weeks. It definitely disrupted his box score stats though, as he finished with just four sacks during the regular season. He did have the lone sack on Nick Foles in the Wild Card Round of the playoffs as well as a pass deflection.

Despite all these injury concerns, Floyd has found a way to contribute in ways that do not always show up on the box score. For example, there were several instances last season where running backs were forced back into the heart of the Bears defense because Floyd was applying pressure from the outside.

He does a lot of the little things correctly and is a valuable asset lined up across from Khalil Mack. I figured the Bears would hang onto Floyd for the long-term but I would have personally extended him, rather than picking up what figures to be a larger cap hit in his fifth-year option.

The Bears can still extend Floyd, which would lower his cap hit for the 2020 season, but remember the team still has to re-sign Cody Whitehair. Spotrac has the Bears with a 2019 cap space of approximately $16 million, which will decrease slightly after they sign their draft picks. The team will likely have linebacker Danny Trevathan off the books after this season, unless he takes a major pay cut.

Floyd had a cap hit just north of $5 million last season, so any extension for him would likely have an average annual salary near $10 million. 2019 will be an important year for Leonard Floyd. I don’t believe that he’s amounted to what the Bears hoped they would be getting when they took him in the first round. Like I previously noted, he contributes in other way that don’t always appear in the box score, but you would prefer him to be getting more sacks than he does.

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However, with the extensions of quarterback Mitchell Trubisky and safety Eddie Jackson looming, the Bears will have some interesting decisions to make rather shortly.

Do you think Floyd deserves an extension?