Safe to say that it’s been an interesting year for Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Michael Floyd. Flashback to August of 2016 and you’ll see Floyd coming off what might be considered his best season as an Arizona Cardinal, just a few months later he found himself holed up in a jail cell following a DUI and was subsequently kicked off the team and out of a job. Next up, he won a Super Bowl ring…sort of. After being picked up by the New England Patriots and playing the final two games and an additional playoff game Michael was inactive for the big tilt and historic comeback against the Atlanta Falcons. However you look at it, earned or not, he got a Super Bowl ring.
Looking to complete the full 180-degree turn that threw his life through the ringer, Floyd landed back home in Minnesota with the Vikings and there’s a handful of people in the know that think he might be poised for his best season yet.
It wasn’t an accident that Floyd chose to sign with the Minnesota Vikings. During his longer than normal stint on the free agent wire, Floyd’s stock was falling due mainly to his issues with the law and pending suspension from the league. Still, with that in mind, the Vikings took a flier on the former Notre Dame receiver but factored heavily into the decision some of the influences that he would have around him in the Twin Cities.
“I landed here for a reason,” Floyd told KFAN’s Paul Allen Wednesday morning in Mankato. “It’s easier for my family [to be around], I’ve got guys on the team I’ve known for ten years or more and it’s a great group of guys in a great organization.”
Floyd roomed up with his former teammate at Notre Dame Kyle Rudolph for support. He remained in close contact with his family who still lives in the metro area for support and outside of a weird situation surrounding tained urine samples and Kombucha tea, it looks like it’s working out so far.
But looming over him is still a four-game suspension handed down from the league to start his season. It doesn’t appear as if Floyd intends to appeal the ruling so his attention has now shifted towards making an impact in training camp before working out on his own for the first month of the season as his teammates embark on their journey without him.
“I’m going to keep working,” Floyd explained. “[During the suspension] I’m gonna have my playbook with me and my strength coach and trainer with me calling out the plays [so that I can be] doing the things that I do. When I do come back, I’m ready to roll.”
The plan seems like a good one for the long-term, but it’s what Floyd is doing here in Mankato during Training Camp that’s turning heads and getting people excited about what his addition to the team might mean. We’ve seen one handed catches (below), burnt DBs and contested grabs on the regular from #18 and his opportunities have reflected this success. Originally mixing in with the “threes” during team OTAs and Mini Camp, Floyd is now catching passes regularly from starting quarterback Sam Bradford as the pair works on building a rapport that will be important come the regular season.
All @MichaelMFloyd needs is one.
— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) July 30, 2017
The experience and skill is one thing for offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur to drool over, but it’s some of the intangibles that should really getting the offensive play caller licking his chops.
Standing at 6’3” tall and weighing in at 220lbs, Floyd instantly becomes the biggest wide receiver on roster and gives the Vikings offense something that they flat out didn’t have on the roster a year ago…a red zone target.
Defensive backs won’t be able to bully him at the line, linebackers won’t be able to keep up with him and Sam Bradford, now officially one of the most accurate QBs in the history of the league, can just sit back and chuck that pigskin up there with added confidence that his guy, Michael Floyd is going to come down with it.
It’s the evidence of those skills already that have some former wideouts hooting and hollering of what could come when Floyd returns to the field against the Bears for week 5. In fact, is was one of the great wide receivers in Minnesota history, The University of Minnesota to be exact, that went as far as saying that he has Floyd as one of the most dangerous red zone targets throughout the league this year.
Throwing Floyd’s name into the mix with guys like Rob Gronkowski, Dez Bryant and Mike Evans, former Gopher great Ron Johnson joined KFAN on the perch and teased the fact that he has Michael Floyd included in his list of “Top Ten Red Zone Threats for the 2018 Season” that Johnson is set to unveil during Redzone Radio, Saturday 12pm-2pm on KFAN.
Those intangibles, mixed with the distraction of another red zone threat in Kyle Rudolph on the other side, sprinkled in with Dalvin Cook in the backfield, Diggs outside and Bradford hucking the rock have many people excited for Floyd’s season in 2018.
It’s not outlandish and would be a gigantic payoff for a team who took a chance on a risky proposition, but they did their homework first. That right there is why this might just work out for both the Minnesota Vikings and Michael Floyd.
Check out the full Michael Floyd interview with Paul Allen & Ron Johnson in the player below…