On April 26, 2012, the Arizona Cardinals chose Michael Floyd with the 13th overall pick in the draft.
On Dec. 12, 2016, Floyd was arrested after falling asleep at the wheel of his car at a Scottsdale intersection.
In nearly five full seasons with the Cardinals, Floyd caught 246 passes for 3,781 yards and 24 touchdowns, showing flashes of being a potential No. 1 receiver but never quite finding consistency.
In roughly two months with the Patriots — including the playoffs — Floyd caught a grand total of five passes for 51 yards with one touchdown.
He also won a Super Bowl, albeit having not actually played in the game.
Since that time, the social media world has erupted with, if not frustration, genuine anger over Floyd’s “success” since being banished from Arizona.
Floyd now not only has the stigma of having screwed up royally off the field, a mistake that in all likelihood cost him a big fat contract this offseason (even with a down season you know he was going to get paid), but will likely (hopefully) have to face the ramifications of what he did in a court of law.
At that point hopefully a judge hands out a very stern sentence, because driving under the influence should not be tolerated in any capacity, professional athlete or otherwise. This not being the first time Floyd has had this kind of issue should absolutely factor into the decision.
Floyd’s pretrial hearing is scheduled for Feb. 24, at which point this part of the story will really begin.
But these days people seem to be more upset over him having a moderate level of success than the fact that he, you know, put lives at risk with a stupid decision.
It doesn’t make sense.
Just for a moment, hit up Twitter and see some of the reaction to Floyd becoming a Super Bowl champion. Note, some of the comments have some rough language, but from fans, mostly, the tone is obvious.
He did not even play in the big game and therefore did nothing to earn his Super Bowl ring, they say.
One should not be rewarded for doing a dumb thing, the story goes.
Michael Floyd wining a Super Bowl before Larry Fitzgerald is criminal, it is written.
Besides the fact that former teammates of Floyd’s were supportive of his playoff run and Fitzgerald himself doesn’t seem to mind that Floyd is a champ, the only thing that’s criminal is that Floyd got behind the wheel of his car with a BAC of .217. That is bad. That is worth being upset over. That should not be rewarded.
But do you really think Floyd did nothing to earn his way onto a football field? That he hasn’t spent countless hours in the weight room and on the practice field in an effort to perfect his craft? While the Cardinals certainly had their issues with Floyd, one thing that was never called into question was his desire to play well.
Do you really believe his one mistake should mean he never gets another chance? If so, there are quite a few other athletes (current and retired) — some of whom reside in the Valley — who I expect you to be similarly calling out and boycotting.
And, finally, would you have been fine if he he had signed with a team like the Browns or Jets, who were among the league’s worst, but not with the Patriots, who were (are?) the league’s best? Well then, blame the Cardinals for releasing him in the first place rather than just suspending him.
A little less than a week after Floyd was arrested and just a few days after he was picked up by the Patriots, Cardinals president Michael Bidwill talked about how Floyd showed no remorse with regards to the DUI, and that played a big role in the decision to cut him.
Honest question: If the Cardinals had been in the thick of a playoff race at the time and Floyd was playing well, do you think the team would have released him? Would you have wanted them to? The moral high ground is much easier to take when success is not sacrificed to get there.
At any rate, the move was at the time not a particularly popular one in the locker room, with Fitzgerald even saying he couldn’t share his true feelings on the matter because some people would get upset. While Floyd was not necessarily popular with fans or the media, he was well-liked inside that locker room.
What Fitzgerald did say, however, was that he was not going to turn his back on a guy he had known since the younger player was 13 years old, and that Floyd was going to be a great pickup for somebody. That it turned out to be the Patriots, well, that’s life.
And for Floyd, maybe hitting rock bottom in December allowed him to turn his around.
Would you really be upset with him if that is the case? People are all for giving talented players multiple chances (See: Washington, Daryl, and how many Cardinals fans would still love to see him back on the field), yet for Floyd the tone seems to be different.
Looking at it, what really bothers you here?
Is it that Floyd never reached his full potential as a first-round pick?
Is it that the Cardinals, with Floyd on the roster for 13 games this season, underwhelmed and underachieved?
Is it that Floyd — even without playing much for the Patriots and being inactive for the Super Bowl — can now call himself an NFL champion?
Or maybe is it that Floyd seems to, heaven forbid, actually be enjoying his life these days?
If Floyd genuinely believed everyone would be happy for him right now he’s rather naive and clueless, if not tone-deaf. Driving under the influence is a serious and terrible thing to do, and it’s incredibly fortunate that no one was hurt or killed because of his careless, stupid and selfish decision.
But there is a difference between people not being excited for him and them actually being upset over him, and if you fall into the latter category, it’s important to understand why.
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