1 free-agent move from NFC West Division rivals that should terrify Rams fans

Los Angeles Rams Sean McVay v San Francisco 49ers Kyle Shanahan
Los Angeles Rams Sean McVay v San Francisco 49ers Kyle Shanahan / Ezra Shaw/GettyImages
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49ers sign this former Rams edge rusher

The career of outside linebacker Leonard Floyd seemed to have found a natural landing spot when he signed on with the Rams defensive in 2020. Since that time, he has averaged 10.0 quarterback sacks per year for the last four NFL seasons. And now, he will be chasing down quarterbacks for the San Francisco 49ers.

The San Francisco defense was potent in 2023. They finished eighth best in yards allowed, and third best in points allowed. But in terms of getting after opposing quarterbacks, they tied the New York Jets and the Los Angeles Chargers for the seventh best pass rush in the NFL. Clearly they want to improve on that standing.

The 49ers are losing 14.5 quarterback sacks through the loss to free agency of DE Arik Armstead (5.0 QB sacks), DT Javon Kinlaw (3.5 QB sacks), DE Clelin Farrell (3.5 QB sacks) and OLB Randy Gregory (2.5 QB sacks). Curiously, they get almost all of that back in Leonard Floyd, who put up 10.5 quarterback sacks in 2023 for the Buffalo Bills. That is just one player.

I know that money was tight in 2023, but the decision to part ways with Floyd last season was certainly questionable in 20/20 hindsight. Had the Rams found the means to retain Floyd, he would have bolstered the pass rush to a respectable level, the team may have won 11+ games, and the outcome of the 2024 NFL Playoffs may have been completely different.

Now the Rams must face a motivated Leonard Floyd at least twice a year for the next two seasons. I, for one, am not eager to do so.