During free agency this past spring, Bill Belichick and the Patriots busted out the old strategy that anyone that's ever drooled over a sweet car like a Lexus but isn't exactly balling out of control knows - wait a little bit and then buy that sucker for a discount.
Right before Saint Patrick's Day, New England had signed or traded for four former first-round picks to build some depth and see if any of the guys would do better with a coaching staff that's had a historic streak of dominance by tailoring their scheme to the players (as opposed to, you know, the opposite). Here's all four of them, in case you forgot:
Jonathan Cooper, OL (acquired in the Chandler Jones trade, drafted 7th overall in 2013)
Chris Long, DE (signed as a free agent, drafted 2nd overall in 2008)
Donald Brown, RB (signed as a free agent, drafted 27th overall in 2009)
Shea McClellin, LB (signed as a free agent, drafted 19th in 2012)
Fast forward a few weeks, and Trader Bill had sent a 2017 fifth-round pick to Cleveland (ironically, right before he would also send Jamie Collins on a one-way trip to Browntown) for linebacker/defensive end Barkevious Mingo. I guess we could be like the cool kids and call him an "edge defender". Regardless, Mingo was the 6th overall pick in the 2013 draft, and that makes five former first round picks that the Patriots had either traded for or signed off the street.
And the new kid in the Patriots locker room, wide receiver Michael Floyd, makes six first-round picks that New England's taken a chance on. Floyd came out of Notre Dame and into the 2012 draft, and eventually got picked in the 13th spot by the Arizona Cardinals. And unlike the other ex-Cardinal first-rounder that New England took a flyer on this year, Floyd is coming off two pretty darn respectable seasons - in 2014 and 2015, he caught 47 and 52 passes for 841 and 849 yards, respectively, and caught 6 touchdowns in both campaigns.
And at least one Cardinal seems to think Michael Floyd deserved another chance to redeem his good name:
Mike Floyd, I'm happy for you lil bro go shine and represent Minnesota proudly!!— Larry Fitzgerald (@LarryFitzgerald) December 15, 2016
That being said, aside from Floyd's booze-related problems - and when you've logged multiple DUIs by the time you're 27, yeah, that's a problem - he's got a skill set the Patriots don't have on their roster right now, adds depth at a razor-thin position, and comes in healthy just in time for New England to defend (hopefully) their home turf in the playoffs. Why not roll the dice?
But think about how ludicrous that is on paper - through trades, crafty signings, and watching the waiver wire like the guys (and girl) on The League, the Patriots added six ex-first-round talents to their roster just this season.
Clearly, the results have been mixed - but let's be serious, you don't stop playing craps just because the dice comes up snake eyes every once in a while.
Check out some more of the Pulpit crew's thoughts on the Floyd signing here and here.