It’s week 15. Usually at this point of the season, teams are prepping up for the postseason or already focused on the offseason. However, the New England Patriots may have just had an offensive difference maker fall right into their lap.
Earlier today, the team announced that they had been awarded the surprisingly released Arizona Cardinal WR, Michael Floyd. This past week, Floyd was arrested on charges of a DUI, which isn’t too rare in the NFL nowadays. As a response, the Cardinals released what many expected to be one of their top offensive players despite his underachieving this year.
In his fifth year in the league, Floyd has only managed a pedestrian 33 catches for 446 yards and has found the end zone only 4 times. His 2016 season has been a severe drop off from his usual production in a role which places him primarily as a deep threat. To look past this current season where anybody not named David Johnson or Larry Fitzgerald has struggled this season, Floyd has flashed his difference making abilities several times. Still, 2013, only his second year in the league, serves as his best. In that season, Floyd recorded his only 1,000 yard output of his career and caught 5 touchdowns. In the years that followed, Floyd posted back-to-back seasons of 800+ yards with 6 touchdowns in both 2014 and 2015, respectively.
After hearing of Floyd’s release, I didn’t think too much of it to be completely honest. He’s set to hit free agency this spring and probably wouldn’t be able to successfully learn and integrate himself into a new system this late in the season. Then, I hear about the Patriots signing him and once again thought, well it’s two weeks until the postseason; there is no way Floyd will be able to learn the complicated Patriots offense in time to actually receive significant playing time. But, Floyd isn’t a complete stranger to the system as a whole.
A large portion of New England’s offense of the past 16 years was integrated by a man named Charlie Weis. Weis, a winner of three Super Bowls while in New England, served as the team’s offensive coordinator during the years 2000-2004. That would make him Belichick’s first OC during his New England run. Sure, Weis has been gone for over a decade now, but his offensive philosophies are still apparent each and every Sunday and provided the foundation for the greatness of Tom Brady.
After a successful four year run in Foxboro, Weis departed for Notre Dame where he was the head coach from 2005-2009. At the start of the 2008, Weis welcomed a new star recruit, Michael Floyd. Floyd, the 14th overall and 2nd WR in the 2008 recruiting class, played under Weis for both his freshman and sophomore campaigns. During those two years, Floyd hauled in a combined 92 catches for 1,514 yards and 16 TD’s over 18 games. Following Floyd’s sophomore season, Weis was fired.
Playing under Weis will undoubtedly help Floyd transition to life as a Patriot. The DUI charges might not make him an ideal model of the “Patriot Way,” but at this point, if he can help bring another Lombardi Trophy to Foxboro, I’m all for it. It’s a low-risk, high reward move that might have just given Brady that final piece he needed for the stretch run. An injured Gronkowski, a banged up Bennett, a shaky Julian Edelman, an inexperienced Malcolm Mitchell, and newcomer Chris Hogan could surely use the help, and adding depth with the ability of Michael Floyd has to excite everybody in the New England Patriots organization and the entire fan base.
By Mark Panzini