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Should the Eagles claim Michael Floyd off waivers?

Eagles need help at WR, but would he be any?

NFL: Arizona Cardinals at Minnesota Vikings Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

The Browns claimed Cowboys RB Darius Jackson off waivers today, a move that would otherwise be without interest to Eagles fans, except there was this:

With Wendell Smallwood on injured reserve and Darren Sproles awaiting concussion protocol clearance, the Eagles need help at running back. Earlier this week they elevated Byron Marshall from the practice squad, but putting in a claim for Jackson, a 2016 6th round pick who tested pretty well in the Combine but has yet to appear in a game, shows they aren’t done looking for help where ever they can get it, even with just a few weeks left in the season.

Which brings us to the biggest need this season and next, wide receiver. Yesterday the Cardinals cut Michael Floyd following his arrest for a DUI. Floyd, who had a 1000 yard receiving season in 2013 and 800 yard seasons in the past two years, would on paper be an upgrade at WR. We’ve seen the Eagles attempt to improve the position this year, trading for Dorial Green-Beckham and putting in waiver claim on Rasheed Bailey, who was in camp with the Eagles last year. So should they put in a claim for a veteran with a track record of production?

No. Floyd would eat up $1.3 million in cap space for the rest of the season, and at best he wouldn’t play until Week 17, or if he did wouldn’t be much of a factor until then. He’d have next to no practice time for this week’s game against the Ravens, and with next week being a Thursday night game, he wouldn’t get up to speed on the playbook in a meaningful way by then either, meaning he wouldn’t play in either game. So you’d be looking at a possible one game, $1.3M rental. Or you’d have a head start on signing a guy who was cut for a combination of poor play and off the field issues. That’s not money well spent.

As a free agent to be, Floyd could qualify whatever team claims him for a compensatory draft pick in 2018, but that won’t matter for the Eagles. Compensatory picks are given out when teams lose more in free agency than they sign, not just in quantity but in quality of contracts. The Eagles won’t be losing much in free agency this year with Bennie Logan and Nolan Carroll the only starters scheduled to be free agents. (Players released do not factor into comp picks.) Claiming Floyd wouldn’t make an impact, because the Eagles are all but certain to to be bring in more than they will lose in free agency.

Floyd won’t be much help this year, and there’s no great need to get whatever minimal head start on a contract extension that would be gained.

Update: Floyd was claimed by New England, which means the Eagles passed on him.

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