Report: Vikings Going After Cincinnati Guard Clint Boling
According to Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press, the Vikings are making their case to bring Cincinnati guard Clint Boling to Minnesota. The acquisition would benefit Minnesota in more ways than one.
After releasing Charlie Johnson last week, the team absolutely needs a strong guard added to the roster, and bringing in a free agent like Boling would be a great solution. Boling also has a history with head coach Mike Zimmer, as the guard overlapped three seasons with the coach when Zimmer was Cincinnati’s defensive coordinator.
Even though he didn’t play directly under Zimmer, bringing Boling into a general system and coach that he is already familiar with would be significant for both him and the Vikings.
“[Boling] has a lot of interest in the Vikings,” said his trainer Ryan Goldin. “I know he likes the Vikings organization. It’s going to be an interesting 24 hours.”
According to Tomasson, other teams expressing interest in Boling include New York and Atlanta, and the Bengals are also trying to re-sign him to their squad. Cincinnati drafted Boling in the fourth round of the 2011 draft, and he has been an integral part of their defense.
Take the Pro Football Focus rating with a grain of salt, but the site ranked Boling as the third best available guard heading into free agency:
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.
Tomasson says the Vikings have also reached out to San Francisco guard Mike Iupati (ranked No. 1 by PFF), but Iupati is in high-demand by several teams.
If Minnesota works out a deal with Boling, he could be signed beginning at 3 p.m. CDT Tuesday.
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