The New England Patriots have claimed former Arizona Cardinals WR Michael Floyd off waivers, per ESPN’s Field Yates.
Source: the Patriots have claimed WR Michael Floyd off of waivers.— Field Yates (@FieldYates) December 15, 2016
Hours earlier, I argued that the Patriots shouldn’t touch Floyd with a 10-foot pole because the Cardinals released him after he was arrested for a DUI, and because the Patriots are going to pay Floyd a ridiculous $1.292 million for the final three weeks of the regular season.
For reference, RB LeGarrette Blount signed for $1 million (although he’ll make more via incentives).
Floyd is a former 2012 1st round pick from Notre Dame who will be a free agent after this season. Floyd averaged 58.1 yards per game from 2013-15, but his production fell to 34.3 yards per game in 2016. The 6’3, 220 pound Floyd caught 65 passes for 1,041 yards and 5 touchdowns in 2013, but saw his playtime cut from 87% from 2013-14 to 67% in 2015-16.
The Patriots are banking on Floyd learning the playbook very quickly, and maybe they’re hoping to get the inside lane of signing Floyd, who will be a free agent after this season. The Patriots will be the only team able to negotiate with Floyd until free agency starts in March.
As noted by MMQB’s Albert Breer, Floyd was recruited and coached at Notre Dame by former Patriots offensive coordinator Charlie Weis, so perhaps Floyd will have an easier time adjusting to the Patriots playbook.
Edit: Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald is pretty happy for Floyd.
Mike Floyd, I'm happy for you lil bro go shine and represent Minnesota proudly!!— Larry Fitzgerald (@LarryFitzgerald) December 15, 2016
Just interesting to note.
Edit2: Patriots have released WR Griff Whalen, per the Globe’s Jim McBride.
League source confirms #Patriots have claimed WR Michael Floyd and released WR Griff Whalen. Also, Devin Hester worked out but not signed.— Jim McBride (@globejimmcbride) December 15, 2016
Whalen’s departure means the Patriots are still in need of a kick returner. Perhaps CB Cyrus Jones will get another shot, or even RB D.J. Foster could have a chance.