Big news in the NFC West. The Arizona Cardinals have released wide receiver Michael Floyd following a DUI this past Monday. All players, even vested veterans, go through waivers after the trade deadline. The 49ers have the second spot in waiver priority, behind the Cleveland Browns.
Floyd was in his contract year, playing on the fifth round team option that comes with being a first round pick. His salary is $7,320,000, and if somebody claims him off waivers, they will have to pay the final three weeks worth of that salary (around $1.2 or $1.3 million).
Floyd was having a bad contract year, on pace for career lows in almost every category. Through 13 games, he was averaging 2.5 receptions and 34 yards per game. The Cardinals have developed other wide receivers, and he was likely going to walk next spring.
The 49ers immediately pop to mind as a team that might consider a waiver claim. Torrey Smith is dealing with a concussion, but even beyond that, they are a team bereft of much receiver talent. Quinton Patton and Jeremy Kerley have offered some measure of product this season, but the offense remains a mess. I don’t think Floyd would do a whole lot of much, but if the 49ers have any potential interest in him, claiming him would give them exclusive negotiating rights until free agency starts in March. And as Jeff Deeney pointed out on Twitter, they could potentially land a comp pick depending on what happens to him in free agency.