WR Floyd back with Chargers

One of the NFL’s elite offenses regained a big-play receiver on

Friday when Malcom Floyd and the Chargers agreed on a two-year

contract.

Floyd, 6-foot-5 and deft at snatching passes above defenders,

averaged 19.4 yards per catch last year and led San Diego’s wide

receivers with 37 receptions.

”It was a nice surprise this afternoon that we were able to

bring Malcom back,” said quarterback Philip Rivers, who spoke

privately with Floyd in the last week. ”He adds another dimension

to our group. Y’all have seen the big plays he makes down the

field.

”Because of the whole free-agent thing, it feels like we’re

getting him back, but I never felt like we lost him.”

An hour before Floyd’s deal was announced, backup quarterback

Billy Volek said Chargers players were ”hoping and praying” the

29-year-old Floyd would return to San Diego.

”He was like a human vacuum machine,” Volek said. ”Any ball

that was put his way, he went up and got it.”

The Chargers were without Pro Bowl receiver Vincent Jackson for

training camp and most of last season. Their offense still ended up

second in the NFL in both yards passing and passer rating. In his

11 games, Floyd had six touchdown catches, only three fewer than

his career total in 51 games before 2010.

”He really stretched defenses,” Volek said.

Floyd rejoins a veteran-laden offense that welcomed back Jackson

on Thursday. Only one starter, running back Darren Sproles, who

signed with the Saints, is gone from the offense, which led the NFL

in yardage last year.

Jackson ad-libbed on a broken play Thursday and caught a

touchdown pass from Rivers.

”That’s seven years,” Rivers said.

Jackson and Rivers are in their seventh season together, giving

them a sense of how the other will react when a play doesn’t work

out.

Tight end Antonio Gates is back for his eight season with the

club, and Floyd started his NFL career with the Chargers in 2004 as

an undrafted free agent out of Wyoming.

Five years into his career, Floyd had made only five starts. In

2009, he supplanted Chris Chambers as the No. 2 receiver and caught

45 passes for a team that went 13-3 and won a fourth consecutive

AFC West title.

A hamstring injury cost him five games last year.