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If the New England Patriots had a wish list this late in the season, a big receiver on the outside would have been somewhere on it.
And the Arizona Cardinals happened to cut Michael Floyd, a former first-round pick with 3,739 yards and 23 career touchdowns, this week after a DUI arrest.
So the Patriots grabbed him off waivers, according to numerous media reports.
This seems like such a Patriots move. There’s very little risk in seeing if Floyd can help down the stretch. At his best – and, to be fair, Floyd’s best comes and goes week to week and he has been disappointing all this season – the former Notre Dame star can catch contested balls on the outside and has good deep ability for a 6-foot-3, 220-pound receiver. And if it doesn’t work out, the Patriots can just cut him and move on.
Without Rob Gronkowski the rest of the season, and Danny Amendola reportedly out at least until the playoffs, the Patriots were somewhat thin in the passing game. The move to grab Floyd off waivers seems like what the Green Bay Packers did 20 years ago. The Packers were short at receiver so when the Jacksonville Jaguars cut Andre Rison, Green Bay claimed him off waivers. The talented and controversial Rison played a big role late in the season, even catching a touchdown pass for the Packers in a Super Bowl XXXI win.
It’s also, of course, reminiscent of when the Patriots picked up running back LeGarrette Blount in 2014 after the Pittsburgh Steelers cut him. Blount was a headache in Pittsburgh but helped the Patriots win a Super Bowl that season and is New England’s top rusher this season.
There’s not much risk for the Patriots. Floyd’s contract is done at the end of the season. There might be some PR hit from signing a guy who was arrested Monday morning on a DUI suspicion, but the Patriots understand the ramifications of that. In the best-case scenario, maybe Floyd is scared straight and understands he has to play well going into free agency. It seems like the kind of “what the heck, why not?” move that could have benefited a few teams in the playoff mix.
And if somehow Floyd ends up helping the Patriots in the playoffs, we’ll all ask afterward why nobody else thought to claim him.
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