It's Official: The Bears Are Picking Up Leonard Floyd's Fifth-Year Option

Social Navigation

It’s Official: The Bears Are Picking Up Leonard Floyd’s Fifth-Year Option

Chicago Bears

UPDATE: It’s officially official:

You can read the rest of our original post below:

The pass-rusher who starts opposite of Khalil Mack will continue to get the opportunity to do so.

Check it out:

A source has indicated to ESPN’s Field Yates that the Chicago Bears are exercising the fifth-year option on Leonard Floyd’s rookie contract. The Bears had a May 3 deadline to send Floyd a written notice of the decision, and it appears that has happened.

This has been expected for some time. Back in January, Bears GM Ryan Pace indicated the team planned on picking up the option and it was only a matter of time before that verbal commitment became official. Once it becomes officially official, Floyd will become the first first-round selection of the Pace era to get their fifth season guaranteed. The team did not pick up the option year on Kevin White’s deal last year, and now White is a member of the Arizona Cardinals.

The projected cap hit is going to make for a squeeze, but the Bears don’t have to cross that bridge until 2020:

Floyd had arguably his best season as a pro in 2018. His four sacks were a disappointment, but he played in all 16 games and set career bests in total tackles (47) and tackles-for-loss (9) while coming up with 11 quarterback hits, a fumble recovery, and a pick-six. Floyd’s production took off down the stretch, which is hopefully a sign of good things to come. All four of his sacks, eight of the nine tackles-for-loss, and each of his 11 quarterback hits came in the final eight games of the season. That’s noteworthy because those were the games in which Floyd was 100 percent healthy after being limited while playing with a cast on his right hand.

If we were to extrapolate Floyd’s second-half stats over a full season, we’d be looking at a player who collected eight sacks, 16 tackles-for-loss, and 18 quarterback hits. Should Floyd enter the 2019 season with a clean bill of health, those are the types of numbers he could put up with teams focusing their energy (and blocking schemes) on Mack, Akiem Hicks, Eddie Goldman, and Roquan Smith.

Floyd hasn’t lived up to the billing of being a top-10 pick, but he has teased with enough flashes to allow us to hold onto hope that it could all come together for the talented Georgia product. Perhaps Year 4 is the year Floyd takes off and never looks back.

Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.