Michael Floyd is hoping to rejuvenate his career in his home state. His new coach thinks he has the infrastructure in place to do so.
Floyd signed a one-year, $1.5 million deal with the Vikings earlier in the month, per NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport. The former first-round pick played for two teams last season — he joined the Patriots after he was dismissed from the Cardinals in December.
“We understand [his legal history]. We always try to weigh every situation,” Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said Saturday at his youth football camp. “But you know, he’s from here. I think he has a good support system with [former Notre Dame teammates] Harrison Smith and Kyle Rudolph, partly. A lot of those things were factored into it.”
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.
The St. Paul native, however, reportedly had the remainder of his 96-day house arrest transferred from Arizona to Minnesota, per ESPN. This means that Floyd can start working out with the Vikings in organized team activies — which start on May 23 — rather than having to wait until June 13-15 for mandatory minicamp.
Zimmer mentioned Saturday it was “important” Floyd can start practicing with the team earlier than expected, and have a few extra weeks to develop chemistry with Sam Bradford. Even with juggling his legal situation, Zimmer doesn’t think it will be difficult for the big-play threat to adjust to his third offense in less than a calendar year.
“Michael’s a very, very intelligent person, so I don’t think he’ll have any problem catching on to the system or anything like that,” Zimmer said. “But to get out here and do it, and be around the other guys, and be around the quarterbacks, I think that will help him.”
The addition of the 6-foot-2 target gives Bradford another weapon to work with. Stefon Diggs, Adam Thielen and Rudolph each accumulated at least 800 yards through the air in 2016. Floyd, a five-year veteran, averaged more than 800 receiving yards in his first four seasons in the league.
The Vikings also signed tailback Latavius Murray along with offensive linemen Riley Reiff and Mike Remmers this offseason. Their first two picks in the draft were tailback Dalvin Cook and center Pat Elflein. It’s clear that the main goal for general manager Rick Spielman was to significantly address the issues on the offensive side of the ball, which cost the team a playoff spot last season.
“We put a special emphasis in trying to get the offense better,” Zimmer said. “We’re looking for players that can flip the field. We’re looking for players that can score touchdowns. I think somebody told me when we’ve scored 21 points, our record is [20-3] or something like that. That’s what we’re trying to do: Score 21 points, however we can do it. But I feel good about the things we’ve accomplished.”