The emergence of John Brown and the renaissance of Larry Fitzgerald led some to believe Michael Floyd may be the odd receiver out in Arizona.
The belief is a team can only spend so much money on the receiver position, and though Floyd has come up big many times over the course of his nearly four seasons with the Cardinals, he hasn’t quite been consistent enough to warrant eating up a sizable portion of the team’s receiver budget.
This season, in 11 games, the former first-round pick out of Notre Dame has caught 35 passes for 550 yards and five touchdowns. While the numbers are not necessarily eye-popping, the team is very pleased with his performance and development.
In Sunday’s 27-3 win over the St. Louis Rams, he caught seven passes for 104 yards. It was his third game in his last four with at least 100 receiving yards, and at times this year he has looked to be just as unstoppable as the more heralded Fitzgerald and Brown.
“I think it starts with a young man who has grown and matured a great deal over the past couple of years, in particular this year he’s come in with a great attitude,” Cardinals GM Steve Keim told Doug and Wolf on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Monday when asked what has led to the receiver’s improved play. “The work ethic and the time that he prepares off the field and his attitude. He is, he has been excellent. He has really done a nice job for us, continues to make huge plays.
“I think he’s even gotten better physically — there was an element of tightness I thought he had to his upper body in the past as a route runner. I think down the field he’s gotten better with his catching radius. As a young player he continues to get better and better, it’s been fun to see.”
This has been a good bounce-back campaign for Floyd, who after catching 65 passes for 1,041 yards and five touchdowns in 2013 slumped to 47 receptions for 841 yards and six scores in 2014. Improved quarterback play deserves much of the credit for his resurgence, but at the same time, it’s clear watching the receiver that he has taken a step forward, maybe even the one he was expected to take last season.
Back in April, there was some chatter about the Cardinals possibly looking to trade Floyd, perhaps in a deal for the Minnesota Vikings’ Adrian Peterson. At the same time, Arizona exercised the 2016 option on Floyd’s contract, ensuring him a salary of $7.3 million that year but apparently not quieting the speculation that the team may have been willing to part with the receiver.
But with this season going well both for Floyd and the Cardinals’ offense as a whole, the conversation may have shifted to whether or not the Cardinals can keep their big play threat around past next year. Keim and the Cardinals agreed to a contract extension with Justin Bethel over the weekend, leading some to wonder if the same could happen with Floyd soon, too.
“That’s something that we’ll discuss after the season,” Keim said of a new deal with Floyd. “And we already have some of those discussions ongoing right now.
“But I think right now the pressing needs are the guys whose contracts expire after the season, guys like Justin Bethel who we just addressed. Knowing that we have Michael Floyd under contract next year, those are the talks that we’ll have moving forward after the season.”