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Football Outsiders: Michael Floyd’s Impact On The Minnesota Vikings

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What can the Vikings hope for after his four-game suspension?

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Buffalo Bills Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

When the Minnesota Vikings signed wide receiver Michael Floyd this offseason, they knew that there was some issues that had yet to be resolved that were going to affect his availability. He had been arrested for “extreme DUI” in Arizona late in 2016, and he had done some time in jail as a result and spent some time on house arrest. The National Football League officially dropped the hammer, suspending Floyd for the first four games of the 2017 regular season.

Floyd was performing at a very high level in both mini-camp and in Training Camp, and it appears that he may have put his issues behind him. I asked Vincent Verhei from Football Outsiders about what sort of impact the team might expect from Floyd when he returns to the team after missing the first month.

Once he returns from his four-game suspension, what sort of impact do you think Michael Floyd can have on Minnesota’s offense?

In 2013, when Floyd was with the Cardinals, he averaged 65.1 yards per game, ahead of Larry Fitzgerald's 59.6, and it looked like the torch had been passed in the desert. Here we are four years later and Fitzgerald is still going strong while Floyd has been in free-fall, with Arizona and New England both giving up on him in the past calendar year. Hopefully for everyone, Floyd's issues with alcohol and PEDs are in the past. He averaged at least 16.0 yards per catch each season from 2013 to 2015, much higher than the career averages for Stefon Diggs (11.9) or Adam Thielen (14.0). The Vikings were actually next to last in yards per completion last season, so a healthy, focused Floyd could be a huge asset as the deep threat they were missing last year.

There’s no denying that Floyd has the physical gifts to be a contributor to an NFL offense. Someone with his size might not be immediately thought of as a “deep threat” type of receiver, but that’s exactly what he’s been over the course of his career, primarily in an Arizona offense that slings it around a lot.

If Floyd’s issues really are in the past, a top three receiving group of Diggs, Thielen, and Floyd is going to cause a lot of issues for any secondary the Vikings’ offense faces off with this season. If this team can get anything out of second-year man Laquon Treadwell this year, then this could be the best and deepest group of receivers that this team has had in a long time.