49ers’ signing of Leonard Floyd dubbed ‘smart investment’

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Jeff Kerr of CBS Sports recently assessed the five smartest free agency deals so far, with one San Francisco 49ers acquisition making the cut. Kerr ranked the team’s signing of defensive end Leonard Floyd as the second-best move, trailing only the Houston Texans’ acquisition of Danielle Hunter.

San Francisco secured Floyd on a two-year, $20 million deal at the start of free agency, adding a perfect complementary piece to a defensive line that features Nick Bosa on the opposite end.

The 49ers had been pursuing another bookend for their defensive front, and they may have found their answer in Floyd following last season’s acquisition of Chase Young, which failed to yield the desired results. Young has since joined the New Orleans Saints.

“The 49ers decided to move on from Chase Young this offseason in favor of Floyd, who is 31 years old and still one of most productive pass rushers in football,” Kerr wrote. “Floyd is one of three players with 9+ sacks in each of the last four seasons (Myles Garrett and Haason Reddick are the others), and is coming off a season in which he had 10.5 sacks, 19 quarterback hits, and an 11.3% pressure rate.”

Floyd, 31, has recorded 370 tackles, including 63 for a loss, 122 quarterback hits, 58 sacks, two safeties, 14 passes defensed, two interceptions, a touchdown, and four forced fumbles in 121 game appearances (120 starts) in his eight NFL seasons.

“With Nick Bosa on the other end, the opportunities will be there for Floyd to live up to that $10 million average salary (and $12 million of the contract is guaranteed),” Kerr added. “The highest cap number San Francisco will even have is $10.108 million, in 2025.

“Paying a 31-year-old pass rusher can be risky, but Floyd is a smart investment for being a No. 2 pass rusher on a defensive line with Bosa and Javon Hargrave.”

For Floyd, joining the 49ers offers an opportunity to contend for a championship. Signing with a winning organization was a priority in his free-agency search.

“What led me to them was, from the outside looking in, I knew this was a team that was ready for a Super Bowl run,” Floyd stated last month. “I ain’t want to go to a team and not be in a position to not be able to play in the playoffs or win a championship. So I came here with aspirations of coming in, helping the defense out to win games, and getting back to the big game.”

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