Mike Boone

Broncos To Sign RB Mike Boone

The Broncos will add a complementary piece to their backfield equation. They agreed to terms with former Viking Mike Boone on Wednesday night, Mike Klis of 9News tweets.

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.

Mike Boone Won’t Re-Sign With Vikings

Though the Vikings wanted to keep RB Mike Boone in the fold, it seems they will be unable to do so. Per Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press (via Twitter), Boone is prepared to sign elsewhere.

Minnesota non-tendered Boone this afternoon, thereby making him an unrestricted free agent. The club had hoped that it would be able to re-sign the former UDFA to a contract worth less money than an RFA tender, but Boone is seeking greener pastures.

It’s hard to blame him. The Vikings have Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattison ahead of Boone on the depth chart, so he would have again been relegated to the team’s RB3 post. He has done well in that role, with a 5.3 YPC average and four TDs over his first three pro seasons, but he has only managed 71 career carries (including just 11 last year).

Per Tomasson, Boone is looking for a team that will give him a chance to be an RB2. He may have to wait until the dust settles on the first wave of free agency, but he should get that opportunity.

RFA/ERFA Tender Decisions: 3/16/21

Tomorrow is the deadline for NFL teams to extend tender offers to their own restricted free agents and exclusive rights free agents. We’ll keep tabs on the latest here:

RFAs

Tendered: 

Non-Tendered:

Vikings Want To Retain RB Mike Boone

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.

Vikings Sign 17 Undrafted Free Agents

The Vikings have agreed to terms with 17 undrafted free agents. Here’s the complete rundown:

Hill received $75K guaranteed in the form of a $15K signing bonus and $60K in base salary, which is the most money received by UDFA since Mike Zimmer became the team’s head coach in 2014, writes Ben Goessling of the Star Tribune.

Robertson received $50K guaranteed with his deal, Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press tweets. The wide receiver caught 76 passes for 1,106 yards for Southern Mississippi last season.

Wieneke, a native of Maple Grove, Minnesota, said this week that he is ecstatic about the opportunity to play for the Vikings.

It’s the best feeling in the world,’’ said Wieneke (via Tomasson). “I get to stay with the team I grew up loving and I get to stay in Minnesota. It can’t be anything better than this.’’

Dooley received $41K in guaranteed money with an $11K signing bonus and $30K in base salary.

Hill may be the most intriguing prospect of the bunch. The cornerback was suspended by Texas for the last month of the season for reasons that are still unknown. In terms of talent, he was regarded as a draftable player.

Meanwhile, running backs Thomas and Boone and fullback/running back Pettway have a reach chance at making the roster after the Vikings declined to select a running back over the weekend. After the departure of Jerick McKinnon, there are no other running backs to support Dalvin Cook and Latavius Murray.