The Patriots just made the most Patriots move ever by signing Michael Floyd and I couldn’t be more excited. Let me start with a little background on how this came about. After being selected 13th overall out of Notre Dame in the 2012 draft Michael Floyd has had a little bit of an up and down career. His best year came in his second where he totaled 65 receptions for 1,041 yards to go along with 5 touchdowns. His worst year to date is the one we are currently in where he has career lows in catches and yards (but hey who hasn’t had a bad 2016). He has always been a little bit of an odd fit for the Cardinals living in the shadow of Larry Fitzgerald, but he’s largely been a solid contributor through his first five years. With Arizona already on the ropes about him; he put the nail in the coffin when he was arrested for a DUI last week. Ultimately the Cardinals decided to cut him. When he was cut I think me and every other Patriots fan immediately started envisioning him catching passes from Tom Brady. I will admit I wasn’t very optimistic seeing as how the Patriots rarely sign big name players especially in season. So when I saw the news he was coming to New England I jumped out of my seat in excitement.
As many of you may know Floyd spent his college days at Notre Dame so I have a special connection to this move. He was my favorite player to watch because of just how explosive he could be. He holds every Notre Dame receiving record and it’s easy to see why. At 6’2 220 lbs and running a 4.47 40 he has a rare skill set. Whether it was a quick screen or a deep ball he was always a threat to take it to the house. He was a leader and a guy who loved to compete, but enough of me rambling on how much I love him. Let’s dive into how this will help the Patriots.
The obvious answer is depth. With injuries to Amendola and Gronk the receiving core has become thin. As much as I love Malcolm Mitchell he doesn’t have that necessary late season experience the Patriots are going to need down the stretch. Floyd has been in the playoffs more than he hasn’t in his NFL career and that is immediately an upgrade. He also spent the first two years of his college career essentially running a dumbed down version of the Patriots offense with former OC Charlie Weis. While the transition will take time; he is already a step ahead of any other player New England could have brought in. He also adds a sorely needed deep threat to the offense. No offense to Chris Hogan, but no defense truly fears him getting behind them. Just ask Eric Weddle, he led Hogan run right past him. Floyd is a proven downfield target which will open up holes for Edelman and Co. to work.
While I love Floyd and his fit with the team, let’s make a few things clear. Even though he has the prototypical size and speed to be a top flight receiver he is far from that. Floyd is big and fast, but lacks quickness and the fast twitch muscles that make guys like A.J. Green and Julio Jones so special. Even during the draft process there were questions about his flexibility and movement and that has definitely hindered him in the Pros as well. Lastly, his hands have been a question mark all season. He will undoubtedly have more drops as he adjusts to a new system and a new quarterback. I’m as big a fan as any of Michael Floyd, but please don’t overestimate what this means. He is not a Randy Moss type addition.
Overall I think we can expect some big plays down the stretch from him, but his impact will be harder to measure in stats alone. The entire offense is going to benefit from the space he will create on the field and a new dimension is added. Again, I absolutely love this move. When we hoist the Lombardi come February; Michael Floyd will be a big reason why.