This trade would be by far the riskiest for the Bengals. However, it could offer the best return.
Leonard Floyd was selected 9th overall in the 2016 draft. He had an outstanding combine and possesses the traits to be a top tier pass rusher, although he has not lived up to his draft billing thus far.
From the Bears perspective, they may be willing to give up Floyd because he’s underwhelmed to start his career and this is his last year under team control, as he’s set to hit the market next off-season.
In addition, Chicago has a plethora of talent on the defensive side of the ball, namely one of, if not the best, pass rushers in Khalil Mack. The front office could certainly view Floyd as expendable.
Where the problem arises on the Bengals end is when it comes to Floyd’s cap hit. He’s set to make over $13 million next season, which is a difficult check to write for a player who hasn’t lived up to that salary yet.
While it may be a hard pill to swallow for Mike Brown and company, this transaction is doable. They’re sending out nearly $18 million in cap space by getting Dalton off the books, and they have plenty of cap space beyond that as well.
If defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo can get Floyd playing up to his potential, then the Bengals will have established a deadly array of pass rushers.
With him being in the last year of his deal, the risk of him walking in free agency is always there. Plus, the team would have to find a way to extend a number of other players’ next off-season in Carl Lawson, Joe Mixon, and others in addition to Floyd. However, if the front office can make the financial side of it work, Floyd has the potential to turn the tide for the Bengals defense and give them one of the best pass-rushing units in the entire NFL.