By Matt Dolloff, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — The Patriots made a controversial waiver claim last season with Arizona Cardinals castoff Michael Floyd. The addition was viewed by some as a potential steal, and others as an unnecessarily disruptive gamble. In the end, Floyd had no negative effect whatsoever on the Patriots’ ability to win Super Bowl LI.
Floyd was a disaster in the AFC Divisional Playoff against the Houston Texans, didn’t suit up for the Super Bowl, and ultimately proved to be an afterthought in his seven-plus weeks spent with the Patriots in the second half of the 2016 season. However, against the Miami Dolphins in Week 17, the big receiver did show flashes of his high-end potential that got him drafted 13th overall in 2012 in the first place.
Of course, Floyd is still facing significant off-field problems. He is expected to serve 24 days in jail and 96 days under house arrest for his extreme DUI that got him cut by the Cardinals back in December. These issues will make him a cheap, low-risk signing for any team that he may sign with when he becomes an unrestricted free agent on March 9.
[graphiq id=”7RKiH2azUC9″ title=”Michael Floyd Career Salary by Season” width=”600″ height=”594″ url=”https://w.graphiq.com/w/7RKiH2azUC9″ link=”http://football-players.pointafter.com/l/6558/Michael-Floyd” link_text=”PointAfter | Graphiq” ]
Here’s a breakdown of Floyd’s situation as he approaches free agency:
What did he make in 2016? In one of the more controversial Patriots contracts of 2016, Floyd earned just under $1.3 million in his time with the Patriots alone. He was finishing up a four-year deal for just under $10 million that he originally signed with the Cardinals.
OTHER PATRIOTS FREE AGENTS: Dont’a Hightower | Martellus Bennett | Logan Ryan | Alan Branch | LeGarrette Blount
What’s his value on the open market? Minimal in terms of dollars, but high in terms of the potential payoff. A team that’s interested in taking a flyer on a big, talented receiver may offer Floyd the proverbial one-year “prove it” deal to see if his time spent with the Patriots (and in jail) allowed him to put his personal demons in the past. There’s no doubt that, if he can overcome his personal problems, the 26-year-old can still contribute – or even excel – on the field.
What’s his value to the Patriots? No higher to them than to any other team. The Boston Herald’s Jeff Howe tweeted on Thursday, among other things, that the Patriots would be interested in keeping Floyd if it’s on a “budget deal” but won’t overextend themselves. If the Patriots wouldn’t go too far to keep Floyd after getting an up-close look at him, it’s hard to believe that any other team would.
Why wouldn’t the Patriots keep him? The price wouldn’t be right. If a team is willing to offer Floyd, say $3 million or more, then that’s likely way out of the Patriots’ range.
Conclusion: It’s likely that Floyd won’t get more than a cheap one-year deal from a team willing to take a chance on his tantalizing talent. No matter where Floyd ends up, he will not be far removed from serving time for his DUI – and he will be far from redeeming himself as an NFL player. But if the Patriots bring him back, it’s a sign that they feel he has turned the corner and has a chance to realize his potential.
Matt Dolloff is a writer for CBSBostonSports.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect that of CBS or 98.5 The Sports Hub. Have a news tip or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.