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The New England Patriots raised eyebrows last week when they claimed receiver Michael Floyd off waivers from the Arizona Cardinals; the Cardinals released Floyd, a former first-round pick, after he was arrested for driving under the influence in the early morning hours after the team’s road loss to the Miami Dolphins.
On Wednesday, video of Floyd’s arrest and other details went public; though it was already known that he had passed out behind the wheel of his car, which is where he was when police found him, what wasn’t known was his blood-alcohol level: .217.
In Arizona, if you’re pulled over and charged with driving under the influence and your blood-alcohol level is found to be .20 or above, it’s deemed to be “super extreme DUI” (drivers are considered legally drunk if their BAC is .08 or higher). Under state law, a super-extreme DUI conviction carries a minimum 45-day jail sentence for first-time offenders.
Floyd, whose troubles with alcohol go back to his days at Notre Dame, seemed a bit cavalier about the situation on Thursday, when he spoke to reporters for the first time since arriving in New England.
“I think in life everyone makes mistakes, and I think right now it’s about learning from that mistake,” he said, via the Boston Globe. “I couldn’t be in a better position right now with this team.”
The 27-year-old said the Patriots are “family oriented” and that he hasn’t seen the video of his arrest, first published by TMZ.com.
“I’m trying not to think about it,” Floyd said of his arrest. “You know, kind of the coaches and the players that are on the team are trying to keep me focused, and I’m keeping myself focused on the task at hand which is you know, playing on Saturday and getting ready for that and that’s what I’ve been doing so far.”
Asked why he drove in such a drunken state, Floyd said, “It’s a choice. You know. And that’s all I can do is learn from that and move forward.”
New England coach Bill Belichick was asked at his Thursday news conference if he knew Floyd’s BAC level was so extreme when the Patriots decided to claim him. It went about as well as you’d expect.
“No, not if it was just released,” Belichick said.
Does learning about it change anything?
“Yeah, well, he’s in a legal situation. I can’t comment on his legal situation. I appreciate you asking though. I really do,” he said.
So knowing the extent of his situation now doesn’t change your opinion on the matter?
“I can’t comment on his legal situation,” he said.
Floyd, who had 33 catches (on 70 targets) for 446 yards and four touchdowns with the Cardinals this year, acknowledged he may be running out of chances, but also indicated being a professional athlete influenced how people looked at his situation.
“Oh yes, and I think being in the NFL and being in the spotlight, you know, obviously, people see you differently than any other people, people out there and you know, you have certain things that you only have a certain amount of chances,” Floyd said.