The new collective bargaining agreement in 2011 provided a slotting system for rookie contracts, making the negotiating process much more simple than it used to be for first-round draft picks. It also creates a decision for teams after that initial three years of the four-year contract is up — like the Cardinals are facing with wide receiver Michael Floyd.
The Cards have yet to make a choice whether to invoke Floyd’s option, which would lock him up through the 2016 season. As the former 12th overall pick, Floyd would be due a salary of more than $7 million in 2016 if the Cards picked up the option — which must be decided by May 3, the day after the draft. That’s a lot of money, especially when Larry Fitzgerald is also being guaranteed $11 million for that season. Plus, Floyd’s play hasn’t reach that level yet either. He became a major deep threat for the Cardinals under Bruce Arians, and did average 17.9 yards a catch last season. But he had only 47 receptions, and while Arians said he thought Floyd ended up a “victim” of the quarterback injuries, Arians added “I think some frustration showed in his play sometimes.”
“He still needs to hit a consistency level,” Arians said. “He’s a 1,000-yard player. He should have had 1,000 easily. But there were some balls we expect him to come down with and he didn’t come down with and that’s what is holding him down from being elite.”
The Cardinals don’t have any reason to make a choice on the option before May 3. In a draft deep at wide receiver, it’s possible they could draft one higher, for the future, which could help a decision. The team would still have plenty of time to work out a contract extension before that option would kick in, even if they choose to exercise it. There is plenty of time for an extension even if they don’t, for that matter. There is little question this year is a big one for Floyd, but this particular contract choice has to be made without that able to play out first.
Tags: Michael Floyd
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