In an anticipated move on Tuesday, the Bears released former first-round pick Leonard Floyd, throwing him into the free agent mix.
NFL Network's Mike Garafolo is hearing the Giants are among the teams already looking at Floyd, and it makes perfect sense.
Remember the 2016 NFL Draft when reports were out there that former GM Jerry Reese loved Floyd in the pre-draft process, and the Giants had their eyes on him with the No. 10 overall pick? Well, the Bears knew that and they needed a linebacker, too. So they traded up just before the Giants at No. 9, took Floyd, and the Giants had to settle for CB Eli Apple.
But four years in, Chicago saw an underwhelming Floyd on the field. And though the Bears picked up his fifth-year option for this upcoming season, it wasn't fully guaranteed if they let him go before Wednesday. So they did just that.
Of course, GM Dave Gettleman isn't Reese, but the Giants have an obvious need for pass rushers and Floyd's athleticism is very intriguing.
In his rookie season in 2016, Floyd had 7.0 sacks with 33 combined tackles -- six for loss -- a forced fumble, two passes defended, and nine quarterback hits. But production never went up from there. He had a total of 11.5 sacks in the next three seasons with only 3.0 this past year along with 40 tackles.
So you might be asking: "Why would the Giants want this guy? He's basically Lorenzo Carter." Of course, Carter was a third-round pick in Gettleman's first draft in 2018, where he looked for his staff to tap into the Georgia product's athletic abilities to become a consistent pass rusher. That hasn't been the case so far.
But Floyd's athleticism tops Carter's. And while Spotrac has his market value set at $13.9 million per season on a new deal, the Giants should be able to get that price tag down after the numbers he's put up over the past four years. He was set to make $13.2 million on the fifth-year option.
A one-year, prove-it deal or maybe a two-year deal with an opt out for 2021 could work best in Floyd's favor to prove he just needed a change of scenery, and more importantly, that he is worth of that first-round pick Chicago used on him years ago. It would be a risk for the Giants, but that's exactly what they did with Markus Golden last season, and it worked when he produced double-digit sacks.
Floyd may be worth that risk in Gettleman's eyes. And as free agency continues to see players sign new deals left and right, we'll see if the Giants get to Floyd before he finds a new home elsewhere.