The Vikings and Michael Floyd got good news Monday afternoon, when a judge in Arizona opted to sentence the big wide receiver to only one day in jail as punishment for violating the terms of his house arrest.
After Floyd, who could have been jailed for an extended period of time, caught that break, G.M. Rick Spielman issued a statement in support of Floyd that said the Vikings “expect him to be with the team at the start of training camp in Mankato when the players report on July 26.”
While Floyd is not a lock to make the final roster, and he could still be suspended by the NFL for his December extreme DUI, the Vikings would not have signed the troubled receiver and then stood by him through this latest legal ordeal if they did not expect him to contribute this season.
So, barring another legal incident, one can assume Floyd will join Stefon Diggs, Adam Thielen and Laquon Treadwell in their receiving corps. That likely leaves two receiver spots, but perhaps only one, up for grabs.
Veteran Jarius Wright and rookie Rodney Adams often lined up with Floyd when the starters made way for the second-stringers this spring. The receivers currently behind them on the depth chart are Moritz Bohringer, Isaac Fruechte, Cayleb Jones, and rookies Stacy Coley and R.J. Shelton.
It appeared Wright was in danger of being a cap casualty this offseason after the Vikings inexplicably stopped using him in 2016. But he remains on the roster for now. Wright can no doubt help out a quarterback — see his 2014 and 2015 stats — but the bottom guys on the depth chart need to help on special teams, something he hasn’t been trusted to do.
Adams, meanwhile, is seemingly in line for a large role on special teams. Heading into training camp, the fifth-round pick is the favorite to replace the departed Cordarrelle Patterson as the team’s top kickoff returner.
Bohringer, a 2016 draft pick, and Fruechte both spent all or most of last season on the practice squad. Jones was added late in the year, after injuries prompted the Vikings to promote Fruechte for the season finale. None of them stood out during the six spring practices open to reporters.
Neither did Coley and Shelton, who lost some spring snaps to injuries.
Training camp practices and four preseason games will help determine which of these receivers survive the final cuts. Floyd being suspended by the league could create a short-term opportunity for someone, too, as suspended players do not count against 53-man rosters, per NFL rules.
For what it’s worth, in my early roster projection that I threw on the blog last week, I had Wright and Adams joining Diggs, Thielen and Treadwell on the Week 1 roster, under the assumption Floyd does get suspended.
But, of course, a lot can change between the end of June and Sept. 11.