With Leonard Floyd under contract, Rams’ linebacker corps looks like a strength

Rams linebacker Leonard Floyd jumps during an NFL football camp practice.
Leonard Floyd had a career-best season in 2020, and that earned the linebacker a new contract with the Rams.
(Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press

As the Rams prepare for the NFL draft, The Times will examine their roster. Part 6 of 8: Linebackers

Re-signing Leonard Floyd was the Rams’ main priority when free agency began.

With the outside linebacker now under contract for four more seasons, new defensive coordinator Raheem Morris can build his scheme around Floyd, star tackle Aaron Donald and star cornerback Jalen Ramsey.


The Rams’ linebacker corps returns nearly intact from last season — outside linebacker Samson Ebukam signed with the San Francisco 49ers — but the coaching staff for the position group has changed.

Inside linebackers coach Joe Barry left to join Brandon Staley’s Chargers staff, and then was hired as the Green Bay Packers’ defensive coordinator. Chris Shula, outside linebackers coach the last four seasons, now assumes responsibility for all linebackers, with Thad Bogardus as his assistant.

Floyd, who joined the Rams last season after four seasons with the Chicago Bears, amassed a career-best 10½ sacks for a defense that ranked among the NFL’s best in several statistical categories.

Terrell Lewis showed flashes of his potential as a rookie but played in only eight games because of injuries. Justin Hollins and fourth-year professional Obo Okoronkwo also are in the mix at outside linebacker.

Middle linebacker Micah Kiser was the Rams’ leading tackler and an emerging leader before he suffered a knee injury, the second time in as many seasons he was derailed by injury. Kenny Young and Troy Reeder return, as does Travin Howard, who appeared on track for a large role before suffering a season-ending knee injury during training camp.

Under contract for 2021: Floyd ($5.5 million), Young ($2.2 million), Lewis ($1.1 million), Okoronkwo ($989,000), Kiser ($924,000), Reeder ($854,000), Hollins ($850,000), Howard ($780,000), Justin Lawler ($749,000), Derrick Moncrief ($660,000), Christian Rozeboom ($660,000).

Free agents: The Rams re-signed Floyd to a four-year contract that includes $32.5 million in guarantees, according to Ebukam signed a two-year contract with the 49ers that includes $5 million in guarantees.


Draft: Kiser, Young, Reeder, Okoronkwo, Howard and Lawler are in the final years of their rookie contracts, so the Rams will be looking for inside and outside linebackers.

Roster decisions: The inside and outside spots appear set unless the Rams go heavy into the position in the draft.

NEXT: Running backs