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Cardinals Cut Michael Floyd

Posted Dec 14, 2016

Wide receiver's time in Arizona comes to abrupt end on "tough day"

Cardinals wide receiver Michael Floyd, who had two catches Sunday in Miami, was released Wednesday.

The Cardinals have cut wide receiver Michael Floyd.

Floyd, who was scheduled to be a free agent after the season, struggled mightily on the field all season and then was arrested on a DUI charge early Monday morning after the team had returned from a road game in Miami.

Coach Bruce Arians declined to answer questions about Floyd, except when he was asked if he, General Manager Steve Keim and team president Michael Bidwill all agreed on the decision.

“Yes,” Arians said. “Totally.”

To replace Floyd on the roster, the Cardinals signed wide receiver Jeremy Ross, a veteran who has spent time with seven NFL teams, including multiple stints with the Jets this season.

“It’s a tough day,” quarterback Carson Palmer said. “Mike’s a close friend of mine. Offseason golfing buddy, a workout partner. I believe in Mike, I hope for nothing but the best for Mike. Look forward to seeing what he does with the next opportunity he gets.”

The Cardinals also promoted tackle Givens Price from the practice squad, and signed two to the practice squad: wide receiver Marvin Hall and tackle Aaron Epps.

Floyd’s release is a stunning conclusion to his career in Arizona. The 2012 No. 1 pick blossomed under Bruce Arians to get his lone 1,000-yard season in 2013, and piled up five 100-yard games in the second half of the 2015 season after suffering a thumb injury in training camp. He had 44 receptions for 745 yards and six touchdowns in the last 10 games of 2015.

“Deeply disappointed it didn't work out,” Bidwill told NFL.com at the NFL owners meetings in Irving, Texas. “He was a 2012 first-round draft choice for us, a person we thought would eventually take Larry Fitzgerald’s position and be the number one receiver for the future."

This season was supposed to be a big one for Floyd. With free agency approaching and the Cardinals coming off such a prolific season as a passing team last year, Floyd was expected to put up big numbers. The thought, in fact, was that he would play so well he’d likely play himself out of the Cardinals’ budget when it came to potentially bringing him back with a new contract.

Instead, Floyd was plagued by drops much of the season. He will end up with career lows in receptions (33) and yards (446), and became a non-factor. He had just five catches the past two games despite playing 139 of a possible 146 snaps.

Then came Monday morning’s incident, which spurred his release.

Floyd must pass through waivers and can be claimed by any team as long as they are willing to pick up what is left of his contract this season – approximately $1.2 million. If he clears waivers, he becomes an unrestricted free agent.

Teammates did get a chance to talk to him before Floyd left. Asked about Floyd’s reaction, Palmer said “I don’t know if anybody has not been surprised they’ve been released. It’s a tough reality to deal with.”

Safety Tyrann Mathieu said Floyd can reach out to his ex-teammates if he needs any help.

“It sucks,” Mathieu said of Floyd’s release. “He’s a good guy. I think we all make mistakes. Sometimes, you’re under the spotlight, you’re under the microscope. I wish him the best. He’s like a brother to me.”

Floyd spent the season fighting his production issues. Arians more than once said Floyd was pressing too hard to make plays.

 “I think my coach knows who I am,” Floyd said in October. “I think I’ve shown them a lot throughout the years, and they trust me. I think my teammates trust me. It’s just going out there daily and every week and putting on a great performance.”

The Cardinals, already ripped up with injuries, now will deal with Floyd’s absence. At receiver, Fitzgerald is having a Pro Bowl year, and J.J. Nelson has played better of late. The Cardinals also got the first NFL touchdown catch from Brittan Golden last week, although John Brown continues to be a non-factor while battling sickle-cell issues. Brown has played the last two games in limited snaps but does not have a reception. Arians said Brown's snaps should be able to be increased this weekend.

The offensive line is also been shredded by injuries. But Palmer shrugged away the idea he had to find a way to keep the offense together.

“It’s not something I noticed,” Palmer said. “You’ve got to roll with the guys that are healthy. There are ups and downs to a season. I don’t think I have to do anything to keep the group together because I don’t feel like it’s falling apart.”

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