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Why Leonard Floyd signed with the 49ers: ‘They play grown-man football’

May 22, 2024 at 1:29 PM

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Leonard Floyd had multiple options as he entered free agency but chose the San Francisco 49ers as his next NFL home. It wasn't just the beautiful California weather and scenery that attracted him. Although, during a Wednesday morning conversation on Bay Area radio station KNBR, the defensive end admitted those are among the first things he praises when talking to his friends back on the East Coast.

Floyd signed a two-year, $20 million deal with the 49ers, hoping to return to the Super Bowl with a talented roster fresh off an appearance in the NFL title game. While the money is significant, the defender wasn't entirely financially motivated.

Floyd has always admired the 49ers from afar, appreciating the physicality the defense consistently displays on the football field.

"I knew that the 49ers was just one of those teams that always came out and played hard," Floyd told radio hosts Brian Murphy and Markus Boucher. "Every single player came out and played their hardest. And really, they play grown-man football. You gotta wake up early, eat your breakfast early when you're playing the 49ers because it's gonna be a physical game.

"So seeing that from the outside made me want to be a part of that. Seeing them get close so many years, these past few years, I want to come in and help us get over the hump."

There was already at least one familiar face among the 49ers staff—assistant head coach Brandon Staley. The two spent time together with the Chicago Bears and Los Angeles Rams. Staley was one of the many factors that made Santa Clara a desirable destination.

"I definitely believe he played an intricate part in me coming here," Floyd acknowledged. "I've been knowing him pretty much my whole career playing ball, and he knows what I can do, and I know what's expected of me when he bring me in to play for him."

Floyd is excited to bookend the defensive line with pass-rushing superstar Nick Bosa. The former NFL Defensive Player of the Year is equally enthusiastic about pairing with Floyd.

"I think he's a super skilled rusher, with good length, and he's more athletic than I even realized," Bosa told reporters on Tuesday. "And I think guys like him, when they come to our scheme, the best is brought out of them. So, I'm excited to see what potential he has.

"He's year nine, so I feel like, as a D-lineman, you can keep improving all the way through 10 years in this league, so I'm excited to see what he's got."

Bosa is the only 49ers player to earn double-digit sacks since Arik Armstead did so in 2019. Floyd has recorded at least nine sacks in each of the past four seasons, including two career-high 10.5-sack campaigns. He looks to surpass that mark in 2024.

"I'm here to help Nick relieve a little bit of the stress by getting after the quarterback on the other side," Floyd added.

You can listen to the entire conversation with Floyd below.

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