With Dalvin Cook, Alexander Mattison, and Mike Boone, the Vikings have boasted an enviable RB depth chart over the past several seasons. In order to keep that trio together, however, Minnesota will need to make a decision on Boone, a restricted free agent.
As Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports, the club wants to retain Boone (Twitter link). The question, though, is if the Vikings want to hand him an RFA tender or if they want to non-tender him and hope they can re-sign him to a less expensive contract.
An RFA tender at the original-round level — the only realistic tender for Boone — would cost Minnesota $2.133MM, though it would give the team the right of first refusal if another club signed Boone to an offer sheet. If the Vikings declined to match the offer sheet, they would not receive any draft pick compensation.
A $2.133MM salary for a young and talented insurance policy doesn’t seem like much of a commitment, but the Vikes are still over the 2021 cap at the moment, so they need to cut costs wherever they can. GM Rick Spielman may feel that another team would not offer Boone more than $2.133MM if he were to be non-tendered, and he may be right. Although Boone has flashed during his three professional seasons, he has not had many opportunities.
The Cincinnati product has just 71 career carries to his name, and he had only 11 totes in 2020. He does boast a 5.3 YPC average over that small sample size, and there is reason to believe he would perform well in a larger role, but he probably shouldn’t bank on a significant raise over the $750K he pocketed last year.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.