Michael Floyd is coming home.
The Vikings signed the free-agent wide receiver from St. Paul to a one-year deal Wednesday; for Floyd, it is an opportunity to re-establish himself in the NFL after an alarming arrest for driving while intoxicated this past December.
And in the big-bodied wideout the Vikings get on-field insurance in case Laquon Treadwell, the team’s top draft pick in 2016, does not emerge in 2017.
The 27-year-old’s contract with the Vikings is for $1.5 million over one year, per a league source. But Floyd can make as much as $6 million through performance-based incentives, the source confirmed.
“I am very excited to come home and play for the Minnesota Vikings,” Floyd said in a statement. “I have been training extremely hard this offseason in addition to taking responsibility and paying the consequences for my mistake. Although I cannot change my past decisions, I have definitely learned from this experience and look forward to making valuable contributions to the Vikings organization and the Minnesota community, both as a player and a person. Time to go to work.”
The former Cretin-Derham Hall star and Notre Dame standout was a first-round draft pick of the Arizona Cardinals in 2012. He spent five years in Arizona, catching 242 passes for 3,739 yards and 23 touchdowns.
The Cardinals waived him Dec. 14 after he was arrested for drunken driving two days earlier.
Floyd was arrested in Arizona after he fell asleep in the driver’s seat of his vehicle while stopped at a traffic signal waiting for a green light. The 6-3, 220-pound receiver had a blood alcohol level of .217, nearly three times the legal limit.
Floyd pleaded guilty to extreme drunken driving on Feb. 17, was sentenced to 24 days in prison and 96 days of house arrest, ordered to do 30 hours of community service and pay a fine. ESPN reported last week that until he finishes his sentence, Floyd cannot report to any team outside of Arizona until June 17 at the earliest. A league source said there is a possibility the remainder of the house arrest can be served in Minnesota.
Floyd still could be subject to a suspension from the NFL for the incident.
“Coach [Mike] Zimmer and I are confident Michael Floyd has learned and grown from his past decisions,” General Manager Rick Spielman said in a statement. “He has accepted full responsibility and is taking encouraging steps to improve.”
Floyd also had a drunken-driving arrest during his junior year at Notre Dame.
After Arizona waived him, Floyd was claimed by New England and he won a Super Bowl with the Patriots, though he was not active for that game. In three games with the Patriots, including playoffs, he caught five passes for 51 yards and one touchdown.
Floyd’s much-publicized arrest was a factor in his lasting this long in free agency, as was the possibility of him being suspended for multiple games.
But it was no coincidence that he officially signed a new contract Wednesday, the first day that free-agent acquisitions would not factor into the league’s formula for compensatory selections for next year’s draft.
Floyd joins a young group of Vikings wide receivers who combined for only 11 touchdown catches last season. The team’s pass-catching corps, including tight ends and running backs, averaged only 9.9 yards per reception in 2016.
Floyd, meanwhile, has snagged at least five touchdown passes in each of his past four NFL seasons, and his career yards-per-reception average of 15.4 is one of the league’s highest since the Cardinals picked him 13th overall in 2012.
The Vikings let Cordarrelle Patterson and Charles Johnson walk in free agency and used late-round draft picks on Rodney Adams and Stacy Coley. But they were still looking to add another proven veteran. Floyd, if he can avoid further trouble off the field, comes with low financial risk but potentially high on-field reward.
His presence likely will affect Treadwell most. Treadwell, the 23rd pick in 2016, was slowed by injuries as a rookie, including a lingering ankle injury from his college career, and caught only one pass.
The Vikings hope that Treadwell will seize the split end spot this spring and summer. But Floyd, who averaged 910.3 receiving yards per season for the Cardinals from 2013 to 2015, covers them in case Treadwell does not emerge.