Bears pick up linebacker Leonard Floyd’s fifth-year contract option


SANTA CLARA, CA – DECEMBER 23: Leonard Floyd #94 of the Chicago Bears in action during the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi Stadium on December 23, 2018 in Santa Clara, CA. The Bears defeated the 49ers 14-9. (Photo by Rob Leiter/Getty Images)

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LAKE FOREST, Ill. — While he dealt with injuries during his first three years, Leonard Floyd’s production since he was selected in the first round of the 2016 draft appears to have earned him an extra season with the Bears, as the team picked up his fifth-year contract option Wednesday.

Every year, there comes a time when a team must determine if their top draft pick is worthy of getting his contract extended for an extra year. The first pick of the Ryan Pace era, receiver Kevin White, didn’t have that happen after three injury-riddled seasons with the team. His contract wasn’t renewed at the end of his fourth season.

Floyd, however, picked up 15 1/2 sacks in his first three seasons with the Bears. His highest total of season total came in his rookie year, when he racked up seven, even after missing four games due to injury. A knee injury limited him to 10 contests in 2017, when his sack total fell to 4 1/2.

In 2018, Floyd broke his hand in the preseason, which slowed his production early in the season. In the final eight games of the year, Floyd picked up his production as he accumulated four sacks along with an interception touchdown against the Bills on November 4. Against the Eagles in the Wild Card playoff game, he had another sack and three tackles, along with a pass deflection.

Entering his fourth year, Floyd will be the starter on the outside, opposite of Khalil Mack. New defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano will try to bring the most out of the linebacker in his fourth season with the team, knowing he’ll have a fifth year to get that done as well.


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