New Broncos general manager signs his first former Vikings player

(Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports) Mike Boone
(Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports) Mike Boone /

New Denver Broncos general manager George Paton was able to convince former Minnesota Vikings running back Mike Boone to join him in the AFC.

An underrated aspect of this offseason for the Minnesota Vikings will be finding out how the team’s roster construction differs in their first year without former assistant general manager George Paton.

After more than a decade with the Vikings, Paton decided to leave the Twin Cities earlier this year to become the new general manager of the Denver Broncos.

Due to his familiarity with Minnesota’s roster, it wouldn’t be surprising if some of their current free agents wound up with the Broncos this offseason. In fact, one already has.

Mike Boone leaves Minnesota Vikings to sign with Denver Broncos

Following the Vikings’ decision to not place a tender on him, Mike Boone became an unrestricted free agent when the new league year began on Wednesday. The young running back reportedly had no plans of returning to Minnesota for next season and it didn’t take him very long to find a new home.

Paton was able to reportedly convince Boone to sign a two-year deal with Denver worth up to $4.5 million according to multiple reports.

After spending the last three seasons as a backup for Dalvin Cook, Boone will head to the Broncos with the hopes of getting more time on the field. He’s joining a Denver running back group that now consists of six players and it could increase to seven if Phillip Lindsay signs his tender.

The Broncos gave Boone a signing bonus worth $1.6 million and $2.6 million of his contract is guaranteed, so it seems like there’s a good chance he will be on the team’s final 2021 roster.

After signing with the Vikings in 2018 as an undrafted free agent, Boone had some impressive showings in his rookie preseason, and it resulted in Minnesota keeping him around. He remained with the Vikings for the last three years, rushing for a total of 379 yards and four touchdowns on 71 carries (5.3 average) while also catching seven passes for 28 yards.

With Boone following Paton to Denver, Minnesota will now have to figure out who is going to be their third running back for next season. Cook and Alexander Mattison are currently the only running backs on the Vikings roster, so the team will have to either draft someone or sign a free agent to take over the third spot on their depth chart.