On December 15 ESPN’s Field Yates tweeted that “the Patriots have claimed WR Michael Floyd off of waivers.” This blog hopes to explain the impact of this move.

Michael Floyd is in the last year of his rookie deal. He was the 13th overall pick of the 2012 draft. His 2016 $7.32 million salary is fully guaranteed. By claiming Floyd the Patriots now become responsible for 3/17ths of his salary or $1,291,765. Floyd will become a free agent after the 2016 season. If he leaves the Patriots during the 2017 free agency he will count as a lost free agent in the 2018 compensatory pick calculations.

Q: How much cap space did claiming Michael Floyd take?
A: $1,212,353. Subtract the two weeks of Griff Whalen’s salary ($79,412) from Michael Floyd’s salary ($1,291,765) and you get $1,212,353.

Q: Are the Patriots responsible for Floyd’s $7.32 million salary?
A: No, they are only responsible for 3 weeks of it or $1,291,765.

Updated on December 18th
Q: How much cap space do the Patriots now have?
A: $5,995,278. On the 15th the Patriots had $6,368,919

Updated on December 18th
Q: How much cap space will the Patriots end with?
A: Currently project that the Pats will end the season with about $5.3 million in cap space. On the 15th had projected that the Pats would end the season with about $5.7 million in cap space.

Q: Will Michael Floyd count in the 2017 compensatory pick calculations?
A: No, if he leaves as a free agent after this season he will count as a lost free agent in the 2018 compensatory pick calculations.

Added on December 16
Q: If Michael Floyd leaves the Patriots in free agency in 2017. what 2018 compensatory pick would the Patriots receive?
A: The number of compensatory picks a team gets depends on the number of lost free agents versus signed free agents. Here are a couple of examples. If the Patriots sign 2 qualifying UFAs in 2017 and lost 4 qualifying picks they would be eligible to receive 2 compensatory picks. If the Patriots sign 2 qualifying UFAs in 2017 and lost 8 qualifying picks they would be eligible to receive 4 compensatory picks. 4 compensatory picks is the maximum number of compensatory picks that a team can receive. If the Patriots sign 4 qualifying UFAs in 2017 and lost 2 qualifying picks they would not be eligible to receive any compensatory picks. Nick Korte aka @nickkorte, the compensatory pick guru, lists the projected APY cutoffs by round
* 3rd/4th – 9M
* 4th/5th – 6.75M
* 5th/6th – 5M
* 6th/7th – 2.4M
* 7th – 864K

With a strong finish to his 2016 season I could see Floyd getting a one-year prove-it deal that would maybe get the Patriots a 6th round compensatory pick in the 2018 draft, maybe even the 199th overall pick:)

Q: Will Floyd be paid for the playoffs?
A: Yes. Please note that postseason pay does not count against the cap since it is considered a benefit.

Q: How many wideouts are there now on the Patriots roster?
A: 5 (Chris Hogan, Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola, Malcolm Mitchell, and Michael Floyd). There are two wide receivers (2016 7th round draft Devin Lucien and DeAndrew White) on the Patriots practice squad.

Q: How many first round draft picks do the Patriots now have on their roster?
A: Pats now have 8 former 1st round picks on roster. 4 (McCourty, Brown, Hightower, and Solder) were drafted. Two (Long and McClellin) were signed as free agents. One (Floyd) was claimed on waivers. One (Mingo) was acquired in a trade. I am willing to venture that only the Patriots have acquired 1st draft picks via the four possible methods (draft, FA, trade, waivers).

Q: How many 2012 first round draft picks do the Patriots now have on their roster?
A: 3 (Floyd – 13th overall pick; McClellin – the 19th overall pick; and Hightower – the 25th overall pick

Q: Who’s responsible for Floyd’s salary this week since the transaction occurred after close of business Tuesday?
A: The Patriots

Q: Can Floyd play for the Patriots against the Broncos on Sunday?
A: Yes.

Q: Will Floyd play for the Patriots against the Broncos on Sunday?
A: I doubt that he will. Recent acquisitions like Whalen and Kilgo have been inactive their first game on the Patriots 53-man roster.

Q: If the Patriots waive Floyd after a week, who will be responsible for his remaining salary?
A: If Floyd goes unclaimed, the Patriots would be responsible for his remaining salary since it is fully guaranteed. They will get a credit on their 2017 cap if Floyd signs elsewhere after clearing waivers.

Q: Is there a chance that Michael Floyd who was recently arrested for a DUI will be suspended sometime during the 2016 season?
A: Very slight. It takes awhile for the NFL to apply their punishment. It is more likely that Floyd will be suspended for 2017 game(s).

Added on December 18
Q: If Michael Floyd is suspended during the 2016 season will his salary count against the cap?
A: If the suspension covers the remaining regular season games then his salary will not count against the cap. If the suspension covers only postseason games and 2017 regular season games, Floyd’s Patriots cap number of $1,291,765 will remain the same.

Q: Can the Patriots extend Michael Floyd?
A: Yes, the Patriots can extend Floyd during the 2016 season. The deadline to do so is 4PM, December 31st.

Q: How does claiming Floyd help the Patriots recruit Floyd to sign with them long-term?
A: The Patriots are the only team that can legally talk to Floyd about possible contract terms from now until noon, March 7th.

Q: Does claiming Floyd affect Danny Amendola’s 2017 status on the Patriots roster?
A: No. The Patriots will be looking to reduce Danny Amendola’s 2017 7.8 million cap number regardless what wideouts are on their roster.

Q: Has Michael Floyd returned punts?
A: In over 4 years in the NFL Floyd has never returned a punt.

Q: How many unrestricted free agents will the Patriots have after the 2016 season?
A: As of December 15th the Patriots will have 13 players who will be unrestricted free agents after the 2016 season. They are
* Branch, Alan
* Long, Chris
* Blount, LaGarrette
* Bennett, Martellus
* Develin, James
* Sheard, Jabaal
* Bolden, Brandon
* Hightower, Dont’a
* Floyd, Michael
* Scruggs, Greg
* Mingo, Barkevious
* Harmon, Duron
* Ryan, Logan

Q: Could the possibility of acquiring a 2018 compensatory pick for Floyd have played a part in claiming him?
A: Yes. I would say that it is a small chance since there is a limit (4) of compensatory picks that a team can be awarded.

Q: Were you surprised by this move?
A: Yes because of the DUI. A couple of weeks ago I was on a podcast and listed Floyd as a good free-agent 2017 pickup since he would most likely sign a one-year incentive-laden prove it. Once I heard about his DUI I thought that it would prevent the Patriots from acquiring him. Should have stayed with my first instinct:)

Q: Does Griff Whalen get paid for the week?
A: Yes, since he was on the roster at 4PM Tuesday.

Do not know if Michael Floyd will work out. I like the move just because it shows how much Pats are willing to improve the bottom of roster.

Most of the NFL passed on Michael Floyd, a former first rounder. The leading Super Bowl contender did not. I find that amazing.

Q: Do you like this move?
A: Yes. Low risk with a chance of medium reward. It will not surprise me if Michael Floyd catches the Super Bowl winning pass.

You can follow me on Twitter at @patscap

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