The Minnesota Vikings added wide receivers Rodney Adams and Stacy Coley during the draft, and now they are adding to the positional group once more through free agency. According to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport, the Vikings have reached a deal with free-agent wide receiver and Minnesota native Michael Floyd.
Vikings Twitter Veteran Andrew Renschen was first to report the Floyd deal with Rapoport announcing the signing shortly after and also adding contract details. Vikings Territory has also confirmed the transaction.
Last week, Vikings Territory reported that Minnesota had reached out to Floyd and expressed interest in signing the former Arizona Cardinal and New England Patriot to a contract. The trail went cold for a couple days following, however, but it quickly became clear as to why there had been no reported advancement in negotiations:
Note: any unrestricted free agent signed after today will not count towards the 2018 compensatory pick formula. Example: LeGarrette Blount.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) May 9, 2017
As Yates notes, free agency hit a bit of a standstill, as teams could wait until after May 10th to sign a player with compensatory value in order to avoid the fee. With the deadline now past, players such as Floyd saw their market value skyrocket. The New England Patriots would have received a compensatory pick had the free-agent wide receiver signed with Minnesota ahead of the May 10th deadline.
“For the Vikings and new wide receiver Michael Floyd,” Rapoport Tweeted, “it’s a 1-year-deal worth roughly $1.5 million with incentives up to $6M, source said.”
Floyd, who caught eight passes for 130 yards and one touchdown in three matchups against the Vikings (two in Minnesota) during his tenure with the Cardinals, will join a depth chart led by wide receivers Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen. His big frame and one-on-one mismatch traits suggest he will be used as a split end outside receiver, a role 2016 first-round pick Laquon Treadwell was expected to step into this past season.
The former Notre Dame standout will have to earn a starting nod, though, as Treadwell enters a prove-it situation as well, which should make for an outstanding training camp battle for the “X” wide receiver role. Floyd, similarly, will be seeking redemption in his return to the state he once dominated as a 5-star recruit out of Cretin-Derham Hall high school.
Minnesota is putting its faith in Floyd to turn it around following a DUI arrest that he likely hopes to quickly erase from fans’ memories. The 6-foot-3, 220-pound pass-catcher has the talent to make a major impact as he enters his Age-27 season in Minnesota. Quarterback Sam Bradford desperately needs a big-bodied, physically tough receiver with a large catch radius to improve his comfortability airing passes out downfield and finally put an end to Minnesota’s scoring efficiency issues in the red zone.
Floyd, who rejoins Notre Dame teammates Kyle Rudolph and Harrison Smith in Minnesota, is highly motivated, in tremendous shape and has been dreaming about his opportunity to silence his doubters.
“I am very excited to come home and play for the Minnesota Vikings,” Floyd said. “I have been training extremely hard this offseason in addition to taking responsibility and paying the consequences for my mistake. Although I cannot change my past decisions, I have definitely learned from this experience and look forward to making valuable contributions to the Vikings organization and the Minnesota community, both as a player and a person.
“Time to go to work.”
And what better place for Floyd to firmly re-establish himself as dangerous outside wide receiver than where it all began — Minnesota.
Happy as ever!!! Can't wait to get to work #SkolVikes
— MichaelFloyd (@MichaelMFloyd) May 10, 2017
Update: Minnesota announced offensive tackle Nick Fett will be waived to make room for Floyd on the roster.