The Minnesota Vikings have signed Minnesota native and Cretin-Derham Hall alum Michael Floyd, a wide receiver who was drafted in the first round by the Arizona Cardinals and played for the New England Patriots last year.
The deal is low-risk, only lasting one year, per ESPN’s Ben Goessling.
Floyd was a three-sport star for the private Minnesota high school, one he paid for with a work-study program as a member of the custodial staff—arriving early every day. Once there, he set records as a receiver for the football program, averaged 23.5 points per game for the basketball program and competed as a premier member of their track and field team.
In the NFL, he’s largely been a disappointment. He only once hit 1,000-plus yards for the Cardinals, and had been a middling receiver until his final season where he hit a bigger slump than usual.
He was receiving starting snaps until 2015, when third-round pick John Brown took his job and he moved from 850 snaps to 600 snaps as the third receiver for an explosive Cardinals offense that focused more on the receiving capabilities of their prodigious running back than their third-best receiver.
I was impressed in the limited action I saw of him. Dynamic blocker, big body, great after the catch, plays hard and tough
Near the end of his disappointing season for the Cardinals, Floyd was arrested for charged two counts of driving under the influence, at which point the Cardinals released him. The New England Patriots picked him up off of waivers, and he was a marginal presence for that New England team.
In February, he was found guilty of extreme DUI, where he was sentenced to 24 days in prison and 96 days of house arrest. After that time served, he was asked to pay a fine and perform community service.
This is not the first instance where Floyd ran into trouble for driving under the influence—in 2011 (while at Notre Dame), he received a citation for drunken driving, and was suspended before being stripped of his captaincy at Notre Dame (leaving former and now current teammate Harrison Smith as the sole captain).
We reached out to several analysts from New England and Arizona for their takes on the Floyd signing. Here’s what Michael Loyko at New England Patriots Draft had to say:
“I think he’s still pretty good if he’s in shape in sober. He was definitely heavy at the end of last year, but made huge impact in the Miami game. But then had two bad mistakes vs. Pitt. It will all come down to how he is mentally and how he’s preparing. He’s still young and talented. At this time of year and for the money, it’s a no brainer signing. No risk, big potential reward if he gets his head on straight.”
We also reached out to Pats Pulpit writer Ethan Hammerman:
“I was impressed in the limited action I saw of him in NE. Dynamic blocker, big body, great after the catch, plays hard and tough. He is a good complement to Diggs and Thielen, I think he provides something different to your receiver corps. He’s probably Treadwell’s ceiling comp, if we are being honest.”
And finally, we got quite a bit of feedback from Blake Murphy at Revenge of the Birds:
“Biggest thing with him was consistency & that he never lived up to his potential in almost all areas. He’d go off a few times a year for 116 yards & 2 TD’s but majority of games would have 1-2 catches & little impact. [His] best season was 2013 where averaged 4 catches 65 yards a game and had over 1,000 yards. When motivated, he’s solid—has had to be pushed multiple times by players & coaches so [Coach Mike Zimmer is a] good fit there. He’s not a bad guy—he has had alcohol problems since college but is liked by teammates. Best case, he can be a Brandon Lloyd/Stevie Johnson productive #2 journeyman, but my worry is that guys who don’t learn their lesson the first time often don’t change. He’s been humbled after this year.
“As for on-field—[he’s] still a tenacious blocker; struggles to separate but can get 50-50 balls with right matchup if he’s gotten his body right. Inconsistent hands but he can get hot at times and, when focused, can help poor placement from QB’s with outstanding body control. Last year, he dropped at least 30-50% of the passes thrown his way so big question is if he’s focused or not.”
All told, Floyd provides a body type and receiver profile that competes with second-year receiver and fellow first-round pick Laquon Treadwell. It is likely that this doesn’t mean much in terms of Treadwell’s prospects, but it does mean that the Vikings have somewhat of an insurance policy if Treadwell continues to disappoint and Floyd makes the team.