This might be connecting dots where they don’t need to be connected, but I found it fascinating just how similar the career paths have been between receiver Michael Floyd, who was released by the Cardinals today following a DUI arrest, and Raiders receiver, Michael Crabtree.
This is, of course, minus the DUI arrest part. Crabtree may have had his critics at the NFL level, but he never had any run-ins with the law.
Here are the similarities I see.
Both are former first round picks. Floyd was picked at 13 overall in 2012, while Crabtree was 10 overall in 2009. Both were also the second receiver taken. Crabtree was chosen infamously after Raiders selected Darius Heyward-Bey at 7 overall, and Floyd was taken after Justin Blackmon at 5 overall by the Jaguars.
Their rookie seasons they were within 63 yards of each other — Floyd had 562 yards and Crabtree 625 yards. Both have also had one 1000-yard season in their careers — Crabtree going for 1105 yards in 2012, and Floyd went for 1040 yards in 2013.
Both averaged just over 800 yards per season in 2014-15 — Floyd averaged 845 yards per season, Crabtree 810 yards per season.
Their career average yards per season is almost identical -- Crabtree has 756.8 and Floyd 747.8.
Neither player made it past their rookie contract with their original team -- Crabtree was allowed to leave as a free agent in 2015 and Floyd’s release today comes with 3 games left on his rookie contract.
So, that leads to the inevitable question of whether the Raiders would attempt to sign him.
First off, Floyd must clear waivers. And the Raiders are way down the waiver list. It might make sense for some wide receiver needy team to scoop him up off waivers if only so they could have exclusive negotiations with him on a new contract over the next couple months.
Or perhaps a team on the playoff cusp picking him up to give them that extra push over the final couple weeks and perhaps in the playoffs. At least to keep him away from their rivals or potential playoff opponents.
An issue for being claimed could be his salary for the final three games, which is rather steep according to Joel Corry.
Claiming Michael Floyd through waivers will cost a team $1,291,765 (3 weeks of $7.32M base salary).— Joel Corry (@corryjoel) December 14, 2016
So, he has a long way to fall down the waiver order to reach the Raiders, but it could easily happen.
If he did make it through waivers, who knows what could happen. The Raiders are currently dealing with Aldon Smith’s DUI suspension situation. Whether that shows they would be more open to adding a player like Floyd who will be facing a suspension of his own or makes them less likely to want to deal with it again is above my pay grade to know.
Floyd has been a disappointment for the Cardinals, which, if we’re honest, is the real reason they let him go. With career low numbers at 33 catches for 446 yards, it’s hard to see teams falling over themselves to sign him.
Not even Crabtree was a priority free agent signing initially. He ended up waiting through the first few waves before signing a one-year deal with the Raiders back in 2015. He proved to the Raiders he was a good investment and they extended him long term during the season.