Free Agent EDGE Rusher off the Board for Vikings

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If the Minnesota Vikings are interested in becoming a true-blue Super Bowl contender, they should stuff the defensive roster to the gills with prominent depth players.

And while the club can still do that, one prominent free-agent EDGE rusher flew off the board Monday morning — Leonard Floyd to the Buffalo Bills.

Free Agent EDGE Rusher off the Board for Vikings

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport tweeted to start the week, “Sources: The Bills are making a late splash in free agency, agreeing to terms with former Rams standout pass-rusher Leonard Floyd. He gets a 1-year deal after 9 sacks last season. And Buffalo adds another key player on the edge.”

EDGE Rusher off
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A frequent occurrence in the NFL, the rich get richer with Buffalo’s acquisition of Floyd. The 2021 Super Bowl champion will join fellow veteran defender Von Miller in the AFC East to formulate mayhem on Sundays. The Bills have the NFL’s third-best odds to win the Super Bowl this season, trailing only the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles, at least in June.

As soon as a season ago, Vikings pass rusher Danielle Hunter was considered ‘injury prone.’ Hunter injured his neck in 2020 and missed the whole season. Then, a year later, he tore his pectoral muscle on Halloween night and was out for the season’s remainder. Meanwhile, Minnesota signed Marcus Davenport in March to replace Za’Darius Smith, and one of the knocks on him is — you guessed it — injury. The ex-Saint missed 23% of all football games in his first five seasons.

Therefore, the Vikings theoretical exploration of Floyd could’ve made all the sense in the world. But no cigar.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports.

Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell and Floyd won a Super Bowl together in 2021 with the Los Angeles Rams. Time and time again, ‘ties’ between coaches and players matter in sports. Players follow coaches to new places of employment, and although O’Connell certainly didn’t coach defense, he has to know Floyd personally. Because of the relationship, some, this website included, believed a free-agent union could’ve come together.

Floyd has never reached a Pro Bowl but has constructed a meritorious seven-year career with the Chicago Bears and aforementioned Rams. He’s played 104 games, starting all 104 while amassing 338 tackles, 103 QB hits, 54 tackles for loss, and 47.5 sacks.

Sep 25, 2022; Glendale, Ariz., U.S.; Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) is grabbed by Los Angeles Rams linebacker Leonard Floyd (54) during the second quarter at State Farm Stadium. Nfl Los Angeles Rams At Arizona Cardinals.

The Bills are receiving a man with this Pro Football Focus resume:

  • 2016 = 66.3
  • 2017 = 63.8
  • 2018 = 68.6
  • 2019 = 69.6
  • 2020 = 69.0
  • 2021 = 70.4
  • 2022 = 65.7

Buffalo also employs A.J. Epenesa, Greg Rousseau, Shaq Lawson, and Boogie Basham — in addition to Miller and Floyd — as EDGE defenders. The club also re-signed defensive tackle Ed Oliver to a four-year deal last weekend.

The Bills defense ranked fourth leaguewide last year per DVOA.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by