Sober Cris Carter says he’ll take Floyd under his wing
By Chris Tomasson
Pioneer Press, St. Paul, Minn.
After Michael Floyd signed Wednesday with the Vikings, he spoke to hall of fame wide receiver Cris Carter.
Carter’s message was simple. He’s willing to help Floyd in whatever way possible to overcome his off-the-field issues.
After playing for Philadelphia from 1987-90, Carter was waived because of substance-abuse issues. He joined the Vikings, stayed clean and made eight Pro Bowls playing for them from 1990-2001.
Floyd, a former star receiver at Cretin-Derham Hall, was released by Arizona last December following an incident in which he was charged with extreme drunken driving. He spent 24 days in jail earlier this year and is serving a three-month home detention sentence until June 17.
“I knew Michael before,” Carter said in a phone interview. “We do have a relationship, and we’ll try to grow that relationship. … I’ll try to help him with anything that I can in his assimilation back into being a very good football player and trying to help the Vikings win games.”
Carter tweeted Wednesday that history could repeat itself in Minnesota with Floyd, who signed a one-year, $1.5 million deal that could be worth as much as $6 million if all incentives are reached.
“I remember ppl doubting me on/off the field, a lot like Michael Floyd,” Carter tweeted. “This turnaround can happen again and we believe in you. Welcome home.”
Carter was 28 when he made his first Pro Bowl with the Vikings in January 1994. Floyd will be 28 when the next Pro Bowl is held in January.
Floyd, taken out of Notre Dame in the first round of the 2012 draft by the Cardinals, has caught 246 passes in five NFL seasons for 3,781 yards, including career bests of 65 catches for 1,041 yards in 2013. Floyd slumped to 37 receptions for 488 yards last season in 13 games with Arizona and two with New England.
Floyd won a Super Bowl ring with them in February but was inactive for the game.
“A lot of people don’t realize the state of Minnesota has been at the forefront of recovery,” Carter said. “It was for me, and Michael has embraced that he’s got a problem. He’s sought to get help, and Minneapolis is a great place.
“I think he can get support. (The Vikings are) going to put the support around him, and me being a former Viking that struggled with things, the team really helped me. Being a fan of Michael Floyd, I’m pulling for him.”
“We have offered Michael the full support and assistance of the Minnesota Vikings organization and our player development programs,” Vikings general manager Rick Spielman said in a statement.
Under the NFL’s personal conduct policy, Floyd will serve a suspension to start the season, although the length of it has not been announced. Two recent Minnesota players suspended for substance-abuse issues were Jerome Felton for three games in 2013 and Jerome Simpson for three each in 2012 and 2014.
Carter said the 6-foot-3, 220-pound Floyd could develop into the dominant receiver with size the Vikings have sought since they traded Randy Moss to Oakland in 2005.
“For the last 10 years or so, they’ve been looking for that big guy,” Carter said. “They had (6-2) Cordarrelle (Patterson), but they weren’t able to develop him. He developed a little better (last season) but then moved on to Oakland, so it’s a great opportunity for Michael at this stage of his life and this stage of his career.”
Carter said Floyd can bring some experience to a young receiving corps. Floyd, who turns 28 in November, is two days younger than the Vikings’ oldest receiver, Jarius Wright. But Minnesota’s other notable receivers are all younger: Adam Thielen is 26, Stefon Diggs 23, and Laquon Treadwell 21.
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