Why Bills’ McDermott believes Floyd is ‘great addition’ for 49ers

Why Bills’ McDermott believes Floyd is ‘great addition’ for 49ers originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

ORLANDO, Fla. — Leonard Floyd spent only one season in Buffalo, but Monday at the NFL Annual Meeting, Bills coach Sean McDermott explained how the now-49ers pass rusher positively impacted his team in such a short span.

“One of my guys right there,” McDermott said. “Unfortunate we couldn’t bring him back. You’re talking about 10 sacks last year, or somewhere thereabouts. Tough, loves to play the game. [The 49ers have] done a great job of rebuilding that defensive line, and he will be a great addition. We will miss him.”

The Bills didn’t match the 49ers’ two-year, $20 million offer to Floyd earlier this month, opting instead for a more affordable two-year, $12 million extension with A.J. Epenesa.

49ers coach Kyle Shanahan hopes Floyd can seal the edge opposite All-Pro Nick Bosa and increase pressure on opposing quarterbacks.

The 49ers’ defense has played well enough to help the team go deep in the playoffs, but the goal is to return to the stifling level it showed in 2019. During that Super Bowl campaign, the 49ers ranked second in total yards allowed (284.8), second in passing yards allowed (178.8) and third in sacks per game (3.2).

The 49ers ranked 14th in sacks in each of the past two seasons, with 2.7 per game in 2023 and 2.5 in 2022.

Floyd, 31, could help revitalize the 49ers’ dominant nature, as he posted 39.5 total sacks in the past four seasons, including 10.5 for the Bills last season. The former Chicago Bears first-round pick (No. 9 overall in the 2016 NFL Draft) also had 37 total tackles for a loss over that same span.

“I don’t know if he’s unique as far as his motor, but he certainly has a motor,” McDermott said. “When I say that, that’s just some of what you look for. He may not be the biggest guy, and that works to his advantage in terms of rushing the passer, but he’s just as tough as the biggest guys out there and just as durable.”

Floyd, who is 6-foot-3 and 240 pounds, hasn’t missed a game since 2017, adding availability to his list of attractive traits. McDermott clearly has an abundance of respect for Floyd because of it.

“[Floyd] played last year with some bumps and bruises, and he didn’t complain about it,” McDermott said. “He’s a warrior.”

Now the 49ers look forward to having Floyd’s warrior mentality on their D-line.

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