Ex-Vikings RB Ends Up with Panthers

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NFL teams eliminated from the postseason, including the Minnesota Vikings, are signing players to futures contracts this week, an annual tradition when a club’s season ends.

This week, former Vikings running back Mike Boone re-upped with the Carolina Panthers, a franchise that signed him to the practice squad about a week ago.

Ex-Vikings RB Ends Up with Panthers

NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero tweeted Monday, “The Panthers re-signed 11 players to futures deals, including RBs Tarik Cohen and Mike Boone, TE Jordan Matthews and CB Lamar Jackson.”

RB Ends Up
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Boone played for the Houston Texans for most of the 2023 season, but that playoff-bound club said sayonara on December 18th. Now, Boone will stay attached to the Panthers’ roster, at least for a while, and hope to make the 53-man roster later this summer.

The Cincinnati alumnus played 102 offensive snaps for the Texans this season and 44 on special teams, with 5 rushing attempts for 23 yards, plus 7 catches for 40 yards. Boone lived in RB3-RB4 territory on the Texans’ depth chart among men like Devin Singletary, Dameon Pierce, and Dare Ogunbowale.

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Houston was high on Boone during the preseason, on tap for somewhat significant regular season contribution. “He’s an explosive runner. He has dynamic speed. He showed a little glimpse of that in the game, and he has continued to move forward. I think he’s doing some good things for us,” head coach DeMeco Ryans said about Boone in August.

Boone joined the Vikings as an undrafted free agent in 2018 and stayed connected to the depth chart for three seasons. He then signed with the Broncos for two years, in 2021 and 2022, and used free agency for his career’s third chapter in Houston this offseason.

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The 28-year-old mentioned in August about his 2023 role, “I want to come in and help out any way I can, whether on the ground or routes out of the backfield. However, I can add my versatility to the offense. I’m willing to do that.”

The Panthers, Boone’s new team, ranked 25th in the NFL this season per rushing DVOA, so its gameplan to date largely didn’t work. Many NFL pundits — especially those specializing in fantasy football — expected Miles Sanders to do some damage, but that experiment failed. Chuba Hubbard took over and provided some relief in the second half of the season; not a complete game-wrecker, however.

Boone is known for speed and could really latch on anywhere as a serviceable RB3. In all likelihood, he’ll vie for an active roster spot on the Panthers’ 2024 depth chart.

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These are the Panthers running backs at the moment:

  • Chuba Hubbard
  • Miles Sanders
  • Raheem Blackshear
  • Mike Boone
  • Tarik Cohen
  • Spencer Brown

The Panthers first pick in the 2024 NFL Draft will arrive at 33rd. They shipped the [what turned out to be] the 1st overall pick to the Bears last year.

Boone will turn 29 in July.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by OverTheCap.com.