Vikings fans were an emboldened bunch Thursday afternoon as the team wrapped up its three-day minicamp and disappeared for a final break before training camp opens in late July.
This was due in large part to the happy spin the team was able to put on a variety of subjects. Coach Mike Zimmer opened up about the ongoing issues with his right eye, explaining he had been to the doctor and his retina was now perfect. Sam Bradford talked about how he and Zimmer had become texting buddies as the coach shared information with his quarterback. Bradford also praised the work being done by his remade offensive line, a unit that a year ago likely had him considering increasing his life insurance policy.
This was exactly what the Purple faithful wanted to hear and read from a group that followed a 5-0 start in 2016 with an 3-8 finish. Matthew Coller, who covers the Vikings for this website, wrote a five takeaways column Thursday that generated some excited responses.
“Vikings are gonna be vicious this year!” wrote Peter. “Lights out defense and an improved offense. Put up 21-24 points a game, stay healthy and they will be extremely hard to beat. Super Bowl at home, the stars are aligned!!!!!!”
Anyone who has followed this franchise knows that this much optimism isn’t allowed to last for long and some type of trouble always seems to be lurking. In this case, it took less than 24 hours for the unbridled enthusiasm to be doused.
Whether you believe the culprit is really the multiple bottles of kombucha tea that Michael Floyd drank, the only thing that matters at this point (from a football standpoint) is that the wide receiver violated the terms of his house arrest in Arizona and must head to Scottsdale later this month for a court hearing to explain why he had positive reads from three blood-alcohol tests last Sunday.
According to multiple reports, Floyd’s agent, Brian Murphy, said Friday that his client was not aware that kombucha tea contains alcohol. Floyd got a DWI in Arizona last December when the then-Cardinals receiver registered a blood-alcohol level of .217 after police found him asleep at a stoplight behind the wheel of his car. The Cardinals let him go and New England signed him for the remainder of the season.
The Vikings signed Floyd to a one-year contract in May knowing that the former Cretin-Derham Hall High School standout already was facing a suspension from the NFL. Now, Arizona authorities could take further action against Floyd after they allowed him to leave the state before his house arrest was complete so he could workout with the Vikings.
In fairness, it’s not as if Floyd should have been considered an instrumental part of the Vikings’ offense, but signing the veteran provided a deep threat and a guy who had every opportunity to grab the No. 3 receiver job behind Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen.
On a human level it’s easy to feel for Floyd, but the Vikings simply can’t count on him playing for them this season. If he does, it’s a bonus. The issue is that the Vikings and Bradford also will enter this season with big expectations and counting on Laquon Treadwell making the jump from a one-catch guy to the No. 3 receiver would be a huge gamble that Minnesota proved it wasn’t willing to take when it signed Floyd.
Former Gopher Eric Decker, recently jettisoned by the New York Jets, remains on the open market and the Vikings would be wise to pursue him. If they fail to do so, they will be setting themselves up for plenty of criticism if Floyd proves to be unavailable and Treadwell continues to disappoint.
The fact this is an issue – one day after there appeared to be nothing but clear purple skies at Winter Park – is too bad if you’re a Vikings fans.
Given this team’s history, it also isn’t surprising.