After a couple weeks of speculation, it appears that a deal is finally done. The Minnesota Vikings have signed wide receiver Michael Floyd, formerly of the Arizona Cardinals and New England Patriots. From Ian Rapoport:
Former #Patriots & #AZCardinals WR Michael Floyd is signing with the #Vikings, sources say.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) May 10, 2017
The acquisition of Floyd is sure to be a divisive talking point all the way up through Training Camp in late July. While he was never the main target in Arizona, Floyd’s talent was obvious since his Cretin-Derham Hall High School days in St. Paul. He was a highly touted recruit that had an excellent career at Notre Dame, which led to him being drafted by the Cardinals with the 13th overall pick in 2012. Floyd averaged over 50 receptions a season at a clip of nearly 16 yards per reception through the first four years of his career before being released late in the 2016 season.
Of course, the reason why Arizona released Floyd didn’t have anything to do with what he did or didn’t accomplish on the field. Floyd was arrested for “super extreme DUI” in December of 2016, for which he had to serve a short mandatory prison sentence. (Floyd has already served his 24 days in prison for the offense.) The Patriots picked him up for the last two regular season games, where he caught four passes for 42 yards and a touchdown while playing sparingly. Floyd saw action in only the first New England playoff game, but was inactive for the AFC Championship and Super Bowl. He was released by the Patriots after the season.
The addition of Floyd adds another name to what has become a very crowded list of Vikings wide receivers over the past couple weeks. Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen seem to have their roles secured heading into the 2017 season, but everyone else could be up in the air. Can Laquon Treadwell step up and improve upon his abysmal one-catch rookie campaign? Or is the Floyd acquisition a sign that the team is nervous about Treadwell’s future? Is Jarius Wright, already relegated to an afterthought last year, as good as gone? Will new draft picks Rodney Adams and Stacy Coley be able to see the field at all outside of special teams? Do Isaac Fruechte and Moritz Böhringer have any chance of making the roster now? Wide receiver is poised to be one of the more intriguing position groups for the Vikings 2017.
UPDATE 2:13 PM: It sounds like Floyd’s contract is indeed a one-year deal for relatively cheap with lots of performance incentives. A very low-risk deal for the team to take on.
For the #Vikings and new WR Michael Floyd, it's a 1-year-deal worth roughly $1.5 million with incentives up to $6M, source said.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) May 10, 2017
The terms of his deal haven’t been announced yet, but anything more than a “kick the tires” kind of contract would be surprising. Floyd could still be facing a league suspension for his DUI and rumors of his partying lifestyle off the field have followed him for much of his career. The “local kid coming home” storyline is nice, but it means nothing if Floyd can’t stay on the field and produce. Anything more than a “prove it” deal would seem ill-advised at this point.
If Floyd can clean up his act and avoid the off-field pitfalls now that he’s back in Minnesota, the Vikings may have just added an important piece to their offense. But with plenty of people to pass on the depth chart and lots to prove off the field, making and an impact with his hometown team is far from guaranteed.