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With Michael Floyd in Minnesota, Mike Zimmer intrigued by offense

The Minnesota Vikings are happy to have Michael Floyd ready to participate in practices next week after getting his house arrest transferred to Minnesota.

The Minnesota Vikings believe getting Michael Floyd in Minnesota and ready to participate in practices next week will help him on the field and off.

Floyd was arrested for DUI in Arizona last December and had been serving 96 days on house arrest there, but that portion of his sentence was transferred to Minnesota last week. From a football perspective, after Floyd signed an incentive-filled contract with the Vikings on May 10, having his sentence transferred to Minnesota will get him on the field with his new teammates next week.

“It’s important. Michael is a very, very intelligent person so I don’t think he’ll have any problem catching on to the system or anything like that, but to get out here and do it and be around the other guys and be around the quarterbacks, I think that will help him,” Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said Saturday after hosting a football camp for youth in Minnesota.

“Michael is a big, strong physical guy that has size and strength and speed. He had a couple really good years in Arizona. What we’re trying to do is add as much talent and depth as we can.”

The Cardinals released Floyd after his arrest and he finished the 2016 season with the New England Patriots.

But Floyd is from Minnesota and played his high school football at Cretin-Derham Hall in St. Paul. After a standout career there, he continued to impress with the Notre Dame Irish and became a first-round pick (13th overall) of the Cardinals in 2012.

Zimmer believes having a couple other players from Notre Dame will help Floyd on and off the field.

“We always try to weigh every situation, but he’s from here. I think he has a good support system with Harrison Smith and Kyle Rudolph,” Zimmer said of the Vikings’ decision to sign him. “A lot of those things factor in, too.”

At 6-foot-2, 220 pounds, Floyd offers the Vikings a big-bodied, experienced receiver. And a productive one. 

In his five-year NFL career, he has 246 catches for 3,781 yards and 24 touchdowns, including 1,041 yards in 2013. He also has 55 catches of 20 yards or more and 13 catches of 40 yards or more, which should help Minnesota’s deep passing game.

Zimmer feels good about the additions the Vikings have made on offense through free agency and the draft.

“I think we’ve tried to improve obviously every area, but we put a special emphasis into trying to get the offense better. With the offensive line, we drafted two, signed two in free agency; we drafted a running back, signed a running back, added some receivers,” he said. “We are looking for players that can flip the field; we’re looking for players that can score touchdowns.”

The Vikings could have new starters at four positions along the offensive line after signing tackles Riley Reiff and Mike Remmers in free agency and drafting interior linemen Pat Elflein and Danny Isidora. After letting Adrian Peterson leave in free agency, the Vikings signed running back Latavius Murray and drafted Dalvin Cook.

It adds up to a lot of changes on offense.

“Now it’s gelling them together and trying to build on the chemistry and character-building and things like that,” Zimmer said.

So far, the Vikings haven’t been able to practice with a full offense against a full defense this offseason, but that will change next week with the start of organized team activities and Zimmer is excited to see the result.

“I’ve seen them running plays against garbage cans. It’s the best [offense] against garbage cans I’ve seen,” he quipped.

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