It has been a long season for the Arizona Cardinals, but maybe no player has had a tougher time than Michael Floyd.
Floyd had his fifth year tender picked up by the Arizona Cardinals this offseason, what many called a “no brainer”. The reality is there was always a question with Floyd’s ability to consistently produce, not just show up for six games a year. Yet, in those six games, his play, his abilities and his “potential” was so tantalizing, that it was easy to forget the other ten games of the season for fans.
Yet for the Cardinals and their management, it was never so clear cut. The rookie fifth year extension gave them a loop hole, where they did not have to move on from another first round pick, and instead gave them an extra year to figure out if Floyd could finally put it altogether.
Through eight games, he just has not. In fact, he’s pressed to the point where it is almost a consensus that his likely $8+ million a year salary would be a terrible allocation of salary cap moving forward.
His potential is still there, he has the ability to put up big games and make big plays more than any other receiver on the Arizona Cardinals roster.
Yet, the opportunity has seemingly vanished.
He’s on pace to match his career low in targets, 86, which was under the old regime of Ken Whisenhunt, when he didn’t see meaningful snaps for nearly half the season.
What was supposed to be the next step in his progress has now seen him fall down to the fourth receiver in some games, with John Brown (when healthy) and J.J. Nelson taking targets away from Floyd.
Floyd has been criticized for his lethargy as a route runner, having issue still lining up and going into motion... in his fourth season in an offense, and has dropped a number of passes this season.
Yet, to even the most ardent critic, looks in the mirror, Michael Floyd still has the ability to put up an insane stat line in a short time:
2013 in three games: 18 catches for 396 yards and 2 touchdowns
2014 in five games: 21 catches for 387 yards and 2 touchdowns
2015 in nine games: 43 catches for 729 yards and 6 touchdowns
Average in those games: 5 catches 89 yards and 0.5 touchdowns.
There are eight games left, maybe he doesn’t put up 40 catches for 712 yards and 4 touchdowns, but he has before.
If the Cardinals can find their rhythm, maybe Michael Floyd can too.