Michael Floyd’s short foray into unemployment has ended.
The maligned former first-round pick signed with the Minnesota Vikings after a quiet free agency, the team announced Wednesday. Floyd, 27, most recently played with the New England Patriots. He was dismissed from the Arizona Cardinals on Dec. 14 — two days after he was arrested on drunken driving charges in Scottsdale, Arizona.
According to a police report obtained by NFL.com, Floyd was “unconscious behind the wheel of his running vehicle at the intersection in Scottsdale” just before 3 a.m. He pleaded guilty to an extreme DUI charge in February and was sentenced to jail and counseling.
“Coach [Mike] Zimmer and I are confident Michael Floyd has learned and grown from his past decisions,” Vikings general manager Rick Spielman said in a statement. “He has accepted full responsibility and is taking encouraging steps to improve. We have offered Michael the full support and assistance of the Minnesota Vikings organization and our player development programs. We are aware that Michael is subject to discipline from the NFL and will work with both him and the NFL in a professional manner. We are excited to have Michael and believe he can be a productive member of our football team and community.”
NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported that Floyd’s contract buffers the Vikings from many risks. The heavily-incentivized deal is worth $1.5 million for one year, but could be worth as much as $6 million.
Floyd caught 33 balls for 446 yards and four touchdowns over his final 13 games with the Cardinals, and added an additional four catches for 42 yards and a touchdown while with the Patriots.
The move will obviously be applauded by Vikings fans looking for more offensive punch. The team relied heavily on Stefon Diggs, Kyle Rudolph and Adam Thielen during the first year of the Sam Bradford era, though none produced a 1,000-yard season. Laquon Treadwell, the team’s first-round pick in 2016, appeared in just nine games, catching one pass for 15 yards.
Floyd’s speed and imposing frame add a different dimension for the Vikings. During his short stint with the Patriots, he also revealed his willingness to block aggressively downfield — welcome news for the team’s brand-new running back tandem of Dalvin Cook and Latavius Murray.
A native of St. Paul, Minnesota, this could be Floyd’s best chance at remaining in the NFL. He is still young for the position and could find open arms in a place where he was twice named the state’s high school football player of the year.