Acquired by the Vikings during current Broncos GM George Paton‘s lengthy Minnesota tenure, Boone will follow Paton to Denver. The Vikings wanted to retain him, just not on an RFA salary, but he will leave for the AFC instead.
Boone, 25, agreed to a deal worth $2.6MM, with Tom Pelissero of NFL.com adding $1.6MM of that is guaranteed (Twitter link). It is a two-year contract worth up to $4.5MM, Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press tweets.
Boone will leave a crowded backfield and join another. Formerly a special-teamer and third-stringer behind Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattison, Boone will join a Broncos team that has Melvin Gordon and Phillip Lindsay on its roster. However, the Broncos gave the latter the low-end RFA tender. That clouds Lindsay’s Denver status, with the Broncos not entitled to compensation were they to fail to match an offer sheet.
This move also could spell trouble for Royce Freeman‘s roster spot. Lindsay’s former backup worked as Denver’s third-string back last season. Lindsay and Freeman are due for unrestricted free agency after this season, but it would appear the backfield will lose one of them before the campaign starts.
The Vikings did not offer Boone an RFA tender, which would have meant a salary north of $2MM for this coming season, so the Broncos will have him going into his fourth year. While Boone has mostly played special teams as a pro, fantasy GMs will recognize him from 2019, when he took over late in the season. He finished the ’19 slate with 273 rushing yards on a 5.6 YPC average, potentially providing the Broncos with a capable off-the-bench option.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.