Outside of re-signing a couple of their own in-house free agents, the Minnesota Vikings haven't done a whole lot in the "legal tampering" period of free agency. Of course, if you've been watching our Free Agency Tracker, that doesn't mean there haven't been rumors, and we have another one to add to the list.
Boling was selected by the Bengals in the fourth round (#101 overall) of the 2011 NFL Draft out of the University of Georgia. After starting just three games in his rookie season, Boling has started 44 games for the Bengals over the past three seasons.
Pro Football Focus has Boling rated as the #3 guard available in free agency this off-season, behind Mike Iupati (who the team has also reached out to) and Orlando Franklin (who is said to have already agreed to terms with the San Diego Chargers). Here's what they have to say about him.
A key cog in the Bengals' offensive line since his sophomore season in 2012, Boling turned in his best season as a run blocker this season though his pass protection failed to match his first two seasons as a starter. From their impressive Week 11 victory in New Orleans, Boling earned a run block grade of +1.5 or higher in five out of six games. Prior to that he had only earned a single game run block grade that high twice in his career.
If Boling can pair that run blocking form with his pass protection from 2012 and 2013 then Boling will be a guard on the rise over his next contract. However, if he moves away from Cincinnati and the Bengals quick release offense then his pass protection will come under greater scrutiny.
Boling's time in Cincinnati means that he played there while Mike Zimmer was the defensive coordinator. Not sure how strong those ties are, but hey. . .it's something.
Tomasson says that there are plenty of other teams with an interest in Boling, but the team reaching out to both him and Iupati shows that they're apparently interested in getting a more established player to plug in for Charlie Johnson's old spot at left guard.
EDIT: Our friends over at Cincy Jungle don't appear to be as enamored with this idea as we are.