Leonard Floyd made it clear: He joined the 49ers to go on a Super Bowl run

Mar 19, 2024, 8:30 AM | Updated: 9:28 am

Leonard Floyd #56 of the Buffalo Bills runs around the edge during an NFL football game against the...

EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY - SEPTEMBER 11: Leonard Floyd #56 of the Buffalo Bills runs around the edge during an NFL football game against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium on September 11, 2023 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Ryan Kang/Getty Images)

(Photo by Ryan Kang/Getty Images)

Some players join an organization for the location or proximity to other ventures. Others join due to the culture. For Leonard Floyd, joining the 49ers was simple: He could go on a Super Bowl run in 2024.

When asked about his decision to sign a two-year deal with the Red & Gold, there were a lot of factors that contributed, but none more than the chance to lift a Lombardi Trophy. While this franchise has struggled to get over the hump in recent years, Floyd’s addition makes it more tangible for repeated success next season.

“I knew this was a team ready for a Super Bowl run. I didn’t want to go to a team and not be in position [for that],” Leonard Floyd said, via Zoom call Monday.

Still, the veteran had choices to make this year in free agency.

The University of Georgia alum was courted by a plethora of teams at the start of free agency. Most of them were winning organizations that wanted to add Floyd to the fold in a similar situation. But the 49ers made their offseason plans clear from the jump: They wanted Floyd on the roster ASAP.

That resonated with the player. Couple that with a strong multi-year offer, he didn’t have to think twice about his next team.

“I had quite a few offers…The 49ers didn’t bulls**t around,” he stated. “They came in with a great deal [out the gate]…They showed that they wanted me from the jump so once I saw that I’m like, ‘Shoot I want y’all, too, so I’m on the way.'”

The North Carolina native has racked up 370 combined tackles and 58 sacks in his illustrious eight-year NFL career. And while he’s proud of all that he’s accomplished, the chance to refine his skills was also on his mind.

Turning 32 years old by the start of Week 1, Floyd was intrigued by the opportunity of playing for 49ers’ defensive line coach Kris Kocurek. While he’s never worked for him in the NFL, he’s seen the results pay off from afar, with rotational players securing massive, multi-year deals after spending time in SF.

Floyd wants a piece of that pie as well, looking to improve his skills in the later stages of his NFL journey.

“I am familiar with [Kocurek] because I’ve seen some of the players he coached take off to a high level just from being in his room,” Floyd said. “I know he’s a guy who is going to push me to my highest level, a level I haven’t reached yet, and I’m looking forward to that…

“I’m coming in every day ready to soak up the game from him and just buy into what he’s teaching,” Floyd said. “Whatever game plan we’ve got, I’m buying into it 100 percent.”

Floyd is a man of hard work, relishing the chance to compete alongside some of the best in the world on a daily basis.

The Red & Gold have that in spades, both offensively and defensively. Floyd has chatted with Nick Bosa briefly since his decision last week, the player is almost more interested in what the opposite side of the football will present to him on the practice field. Getting the chance to go against some of the best at their positions: Iron sharpens iron as they say.

“If I go against [49ers tight end] George Kittle every day, it will mold me for a great season,” he stated.

Some adapting to the Red & Gold’s way of life may take a few weeks to get used to. That includes playing in the wide-nine formation.

Leonard Floyd has mainly been an outside linebacker in the NFL, only recently making the switch to traditional 3-point-technique DE. In his lone season with the Buffalo Bills, he played in that role, securing his most sacks since 2020 (10.5).

A year later, he’s looking to add that same contribution to the 49ers, regardless of where they put him at.

“It really doesn’t matter to me, as long as we sack the quarterback,” Leonard Floyd said. “It really doesn’t matter standing up or three point. Scheme wise, I’m an athlete so I fit any scheme, to me personally. All I need for my coach to do is teach me what to do and where to go, and I’m going to go, 100 percent.”

Key offseason dates for the San Francisco 49ers

  • March 24-27 – Annual league meeting in Orlando
  • April 25-27 – NFL Draft in Detroit

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