With all of the roster cuts the Minnesota Vikings made on Friday and Saturday, the biggest surprise. . .by a significant margin. . .was the announcement that the team was releasing starting offensive lineman Alex Boone. Boone signed a four-year, $27 million contract with the Vikings last offseason, and was thought to be the one constant on an offensive line that was poised to undergo a lot of change.
Even though Boone was a solid performer at left guard last season, apparently the team was expecting more bang for their proverbial buck. So, according to Ben Goessling of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. . .
Vikings met with Boone about taking a pay cut, and he refused, per sources. His release will cost them $3.4M in dead money.— Ben Goessling (@GoesslingStrib) September 2, 2017
Boone had a cap figure of $6.7 million for this season, and with his release the team had to eat approximately half of that. That means they added about $3.4 million in salary cap space, but they’re giving a not insignificant chunk of change to a guy that is now looking for work.
After giving big money to offensive tackles Mike Remmers and Riley Reiff this offseason, the Vikings apparently wanted Boone to lower his price tag, and he said no. So, rather than having him around as very expensive depth, Rick Spielman and company chose to let him go and go with Nick Easton at left guard, giving rookie Pat Elflein the starting job at center with veteran Joe Berger handling the right guard spot.
We knew that the Vikings’ offensive line was going to be getting an overhaul this offseason and throughout the preseason. We also just assumed that Alex Boone was going to be a part of that overhaul. It just goes to show that, in the National Football League, you really can’t assume a whole heck of a lot.