Cardinals release Floyd after DUI arrest, players 'shocked'
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — In an abrupt move that stunned his teammates, the Arizona Cardinals released wide receiver Michael Floyd on Wednesday, two days after the 2012 first-round draft pick was arrested on charges of driving under the influence and failure to obey a police officer.
Coach Bruce Arians declined to comment on the move other than to say it was a "totally" unanimous decision by him, team President Michael Bidwill and general manager Steve Keim.
"Seeing stuff like this happen, I think we're all shocked," safety Tyrann Mathieu said. "We're all kind of in disbelief."
Mathieu described Floyd as "like a brother."
"He's a good guy," said Mathieu, who overcame marijuana-related problems that got him kicked out of LSU and became a 2015 All-Pro selection. "I think we all make mistakes. You're under the spotlight, you're under a microscope. ... If he ever needs anything, he can reach out to me. I'm sure he could reach out to a bunch of guys in this locker room."
The 6-foot-2, 220-pound Floyd, who was to become a free agent at the end of this season, was taken into custody early Monday after being found unconscious behind the wheel of his running vehicle at an intersection in suburban Scottsdale
He was booked and released from the Scottsdale jail later that morning.
It was not his first brush with the law. He had three alcohol-related incidents involving police when he was at Notre Dame, including a DUI arrest.
The Cardinals mentioned Floyd's release without comment Wednesday in a news release that announced several other roster moves.
Arians had said Monday that he was gathering information to determine "what our options are going forward."
The Cardinals made Floyd the 13th pick overall in the 2012 draft after the receiver's standout career at Notre Dame.
Floyd finished the 2015 season strong, winding up with a career-best five 100-yard receiving games. But he was having a down year this contract season, with several critical dropped passes.
He caught 33 passes for 446 yards and four TDs this season.
Quarterback Carson Palmer called it "a tough day."
"Mike's a close friend of mine, an offseason golfing buddy, a workout partner, so it's tough," Palmer said. "I believe in Mike. I'm hoping for nothing but the best for Mike and look forward to seeing what he does with the next opportunity he gets."
Palmer said it was not his place to say whether the Cardinals' decision was a mistake.
In five seasons, Floyd caught 242 passes for 3,739 yards and 23 touchdowns. His best statistical season was his second, in 2013, when he caught 65 passes for 1,041 yards, including a 91-yard play.
Palmer said the Cardinals will miss Floyd's size, speed and big-play ability.
"He's a great mismatch," Palmer said. "He plays extremely hard. He practices hard. Mike, he's a dominant player. I've seen it. We've seen it. Everybody here has seen him, the year he had last year and some of the plays he's made. ... That's obviously a big void to fill."
But Floyd's role had diminished as J.J. Nelson got more involved in the offense.
There had been widespread speculation that Arizona, with 21 players to become free agents, would not try to re-sign Floyd, instead concentrating on a deal with outside linebacker Chandler Jones.
Mathieu, who has had experience in these matters, said he'd spoken with Floyd.
"Everybody's going to have something to say," Mathieu said. "Everybody's going to criticize you. Everybody thinks they know what you're going through, so I think the most important thing for him is to believe in himself."
Floyd's agent Brian Murphy did not respond to a message seeking comment.
Notes: Arizona signed wide receiver Jeremy Ross and promoted tackle Givens Price from the practice squad. ... Quarterback Zac Dysert was promoted from the practice squad because the Miami Dolphins were about to sign him. ... Mathieu, who has been sidelined with a shoulder injury, practiced and said "we'll see" whether he will be able to play Sunday against New Orleans.
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