On Thursday, the Denver Broncos made new running back Mike Boone available at an introductory press conference. Boone, a former Minnesota Viking, signed a two-year deal worth $ 3.85 million just hours after Pro Bowl running back fan favorite Phillip Lindsay was ruled out by the Broncos.
After applying the original round offer to restricted free agent Lindsay earlier in the week, Broncos general manager George Paton rescinded the tag after consulting with Lindsay’s agent, leaving him totally free of restrictions. and to negotiate with any team in the NFL. The next day, Lindsay signed a one-year, $ 3.25 million contract with the Houston Texans.
When asked who he thinks will be chosen to replace Lindsay’s production on Pat Shurmur’s offense, Boone responded, “Whoever (the coaches) put out there. Whoever they call to replace it. I’m here for whatever they ask me to do. “
Stepping into a very touching public relations situation with the way fans perceived Lindsay’s treatment by the Broncos, Boone was right to be careful. He tipped his cap to the outgoing Lindsay, who produced two 1,000-yard rushing campaigns in his three seasons in Denver.
“That’s my boy, shout out to Phil,” Boone said. “We train our rookie together [year] coming to the NFL together. I’m here to be me Yell at Phil. Great respect and great athlete, but I’m only here to be me and do what I can.
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Boone is an intriguing signing for the Broncos. Not being drafted from Cincinnati the same year as Lindsay, Boone signed with Paton’s Vikings as a college free agent.
Stuck behind the likes of Dalvin Cook and initially Latavius Murray, Boone struggled for playing time, primarily landing a special teams role. But in his sophomore year, Boone got a chance to start in the Vikings regular-season finale and suffice it to say, the boy left.
In Week 17 of that year, he rushed for 148 yards on just 17 carries (8.71 YPC), scoring a touchdown. Those last three games of the 2019 season saw Boone racking up 41 carries for 232 yards (5.67 UPC) and three touchdowns.
With Cook ripping off a 1,500-yard rushing campaign in 2020, Boone found himself mostly watching from the sidelines, finishing his final season at Minnesota with just 11 carries for 59 yards and a touchdown. He had five special teams tackles on 231 third-phase plays and won the NFC Special Teams Player of the Week honors in Week 4 after forcing a fumble on a punt return against the Texans.
The 5-foot-10-inch, 206-pound back oozes untapped potential and obviously Paton intends to extract it for the next two years in Denver, even if initially as Melvin Gordon’s backup.
“Mike Boone is a man who made himself,” Paton said Thursday. “Four phases: He played four phases on special teams and is one of the best special teams players in the Vikings. He was playing behind Dalvin Cook, so he didn’t get many chances, but when he got the chance, he really produced. to help our room. He’s going to add some special teams to the offensive side of the ball, which we are missing. I’m so excited to have Mike Boone here. “
Boone is excited to get paid and begin the process of creating a role for the Broncos. Paton’s decision to bring him in from the Vikings meant a lot to the youngsters.
“He sees something in me to call me and bring me with him. I’m just going to try to maintain that standard, “Boone said.” Just come in, get the job done, and do whatever you can for those guys. “
Like two ships in the night, Boone arrives as Lindsay leaves, but with fans wishing The Colorado Kid in Houston good luck, Broncos Country will no doubt close ranks quickly around Boone and welcome him into the Orange and Blue family. .
Especially once he can show what he can do to help the Broncos offense.
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