NFL rumors have swirled around Alex Boone for much of the past year because it was evident that he was going to be leaving the San Francisco 49ers after the season was over. A tumultuous relationship with management essentially sealed the deal on a departure. According to ESPN, Boone is going to be signing a contract with the Minnesota Vikings, the team that recently added Tony Sparano to the coaching staff.
For two consecutive off seasons, Alex Boone has had issues with the San Francisco 49ers because he felt that they did not value him enough. The offensive guard was hoping for a nice contract even though he witnessed the same management team allowing Mike Iupati to walk away in free agency and sign with the Arizona Cardinals. Boone finally realized that if he was going to be paid what he wanted, then it would have to be with another NFL team.
In 2015, Tony Sparano was coaching the tight ends for the San Francisco 49ers. Little did the team know when they hired him, he would be a catalyst for their second best offensive lineman figuring out where in the NFL he wanted to continue his career. Sparano has a history with building solid offensive lines in the National Football League, so the Niners leaned on him for that, even though it wasn’t the position that San Francisco hired him to coach.
With Jim Tomsula being fired after just one season as the head coach, Tony Sparano knew that he was going to be working for another NFL team because he had no previous relationship with new San Francisco 49ers head coach Chip Kelly. Fortunately for Sparano, his existing relationship with Mike Zimmer and Norv Turner helped him secure a job with the Minnesota Vikings as their new offensive line coach.
For the past two seasons, the Minnesota Vikings have struggled to protect Teddy Bridgewater when he dropped back on passing plays. Mike Zimmer knows that if he wanted to get past the wildcard round in the NFL Playoffs, he would need to solidify the middle of his offensive line. Alex Boone is still capable of doing that, so the Vikings knew that signing him in free agency would be a move that they had to make.
To give you an idea of how badly the Minnesota Vikings wanted to upgrade the interior of their offensive line, they were one of the teams that chased after Kelechi Osemele pretty hard in free agency. The Oakland Raiders ended up signing the former Baltimore Ravens guard for $60 million, which is much more than what the Vikings ended up paying for Alex Boone, who is not that much of a downgrade from Osemele.
Adrian Peterson cleared more than 1,400 yards for the Minnesota Vikings last season. While those are impressive numbers, the Vikings feel that he can do even better than that now that Alex Boone is going to be starting at one of the offensive guard positions. Brandon Fusco is supposed to be the other starting offensive guard, and many believe that he would be better off playing on the right side of the offensive line.
Mike Zimmer wants the Minnesota Vikings to have an old school mentality. At 6’8″, 300 pounds, Alex Boone is the epitome of an old school offensive lineman that wants to maul defensive linemen and linebackers. The Vikings essentially paid $26.5 million to bring in a guy that will bruise up opponents and make NFL teams fear playing against Minnesota. It’s an investment that will be worthwhile if the team is able to go further in the playoffs than the did this season.
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