DENVER — Mike Boone went from an NFL player Broncos fans never heard of to the answer of the team’s most recent trivia question.
Who replaced hometown star Phillip Lindsay as the Broncos’ favorite running back?
“Whoever they put out there,’’ Boone said Thursday at a Broncos press conference.
Wrong. It’s Boone. At least in chronological order offseason transaction moves, it was.
Boone, a three-year, No. 3 running back and core special player for the Minnesota Vikings and assistant general manager George Paton, was acquired Wednesday afternoon by the Broncos and their new GM Paton with a two-year contract. On Thursday morning, the Broncos removed the final restriction from Lindsay’s free-agent status and allowed the two-time, 1,000-yard rusher unrestricted free agency.
“That’s my boy, shout out to Phil,’’ Boone said. “We trained together our rookie (year) coming into the NFL together. I’m here to be me. Shout out to Phil, major respect. Great athlete. But I’m just here to be me and do what I can.”
Boone doesn’t have many carries or rushing yards in his three years with the Vikings, but he did receive high praise from Paton.
“Mike Boone,’’ Paton said, “is a self-made man.’’
There may not be a great compliment, regardless of one’s endeavor. Undrafted out of Cincinnati in 2018 – as Lindsay was out of Colorado – Boone made the Vikings roster as a four-phase special teamer (punt, punt return, kickoff, kickoff return). He is strongly built at 5-foot-10, 206 pounds, and runs hard. Ran for 147 yards against the Chicago Bears in the 2019 finale.
“He's going to add some special teams (from) the offensive side of the ball, which we lack,’’ Paton said.
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