The Baltimore Ravens have always been known for their defense. However, with Justin Houston and Jason Pierre-Paul aging and about to hit free agency, the team may be ready to change things up on the edge. With that in mind, it is interesting to note that Leonard Floyd is about to hit free agency.
Should Baltimore Ravens sign Leonard Floyd?
Floyd will be 31 next season which is not young by NFL standards, but compared to Houston and Pierre-Paul, he would be about three years younger than each. Beyond that, he was still productive, producing nine sacks in the past two seasons.
So, why not be in Leonard Floyd? The question will come down to his contract. While Floyd is an upgrade over JPP or Houston, he played for $14M last season. That duo combined for about $2M. The team wants to get younger and upgrade, but may not want to pay that much. The Rams are cutting him mainly because they are pressed against the cap. He should still get around $10M in free agency.
The big issue with Floyd is that between Houston, Pierre-Paul, Tyus Bowser, and Odafe Oweh, he is much closer to Oweh and Bowser than he is to Pierre-Paul and Houston. In fact, he is basically what the Ravens hope Tyus Bowser can be.
The issue here is that Bowser is already signed, and while Floyd would be a slight upgrade, he is older, and the contract would make it a wash anyways. He could be a backup or complement to Bowser, but he would be redundant in the role.
Beyond that, what the team got from Houston and Pierre-Paul was hand-in-the-dirt players. For example, Tyus Bowser dropped into coverage nearly 16% of the time, while Houston was closer to 6%, and JPP was down at 3%. Meanwhile, for his career, Floyd drops into coverage about 12% of the time.
It is a bit redundant in the role and it is not the complement to Tyus Bowser. At the right price, the team would love to rotate Bowser and Floyd, but they would really need a beefy edge setter for their fourth edge because while Oweh does not drop into coverage as much, he is more of a pass rusher than a run defender. Floyd and Bowser are fine against the run but do not set the edge in the way Houston was asked to.
If Bowser was a free agent, or older, or on a worse contract that the team would want to get out of, it would be easier to discuss moving on from Bowser to get Leonard Floyd. However, for now, Leonard Floyd comes off as too redundant in the role that Bowser plays, and the team should look elsewhere.