EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Michael Floyd can start practicing with his new team next week, now that the remainder of his house arrest sentence has been transferred from Arizona to Minnesota.
His new coach sounded hopeful Saturday that the receiver can thrive in his home state.
Speaking at his youth football camp, Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said it's "important" that Floyd can start working with the team earlier than expected, after his sentence was transferred Wednesday.
The Vikings signed Floyd -- a St. Paul native who starred at Cretin-Derham Hall High -- to a one-year, $1.5 million deal last week. Floyd still could face NFL discipline stemming from his arrest for DUI in Arizona last December, but Zimmer said Floyd should be able to lean on a strong network in Minnesota.
"We understand [his legal history]. We always try to weigh every situation," Zimmer said. "But you know, he's from here. I think he has a good support system with [former Notre Dame teammates] Harrison Smith and Kyle Rudolph, partly. A lot of those things were factored into it."
Floyd was sentenced to 24 days in jail and 96 days under house arrest on Feb. 17. Had his sentence not been transferred to Minnesota, he would not have been able to work out with his new team until after the Vikings' mandatory minicamp June 13-15.
Now, he'll have four weeks of time to connect with quarterback Sam Bradford, as the Vikings hope Floyd can add a downfield element to a passing game that had the shortest average throw in the league last season, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
"Michael's a very, very intelligent person, so I don't think he'll have any problem catching on to the system or anything like that," Zimmer said. "But to get out here and do it, and be around the other guys, and be around the quarterbacks, I think that will help him."
Floyd figures to be the last significant piece of the Vikings' effort to improve their offense this offseason. They guaranteed $36.8 million to free-agent tackles Riley Reiff and Mike Remmers, signed running back Latavius Murray to help replace Adrian Peterson and spent their first two draft picks on Florida State running back Dalvin Cook and Ohio State center Pat Elflein.
"We put a special emphasis in trying to get the offense better," Zimmer said. "We're looking for players that can flip the field. We're looking for players that can score touchdowns. I think somebody told me when we've scored 21 points, our record is [20-3] or something like that. That's what we're trying to do: Score 21 points, however we can do it. But I feel good about the things we've accomplished."
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