Local area legend, Alex Boone, is attempting a comeback in the NFL but the Cleveland Browns should stay away.
Alex Boone grew up just outside of Cleveland, OH in a suburb called Lakewood. He played for the legendary St. Edwards’ football team and was part of some of their most dominant seasons ever as a two-way player for the team. Boone garnered so much attention that he was quickly scooped up by the Ohio State University, where he played big minutes as a freshman. Despite all of his hype, size, and dominance, his play at Ohio State was negated by his partying and drinking. Resulting in him going undrafted.
The San Francisco 49ers gave him a chance, however, and he made the most of it. Despite never making a Pro Bowl or an All-Pro team, Boone was able to put together a decent run in San Francisco and did very well for himself.
He would join the Minnesota Vikings, where Browns’ head coach Kevin Stefanski was still coaching as an assistant and signed a massive four-year, $26.8 million dollar deal. Yet, the Vikings then asked him to take a pay cut, and when he refused was let go from the team. He played one more injury-plagued year in Arizona before retiring at 31-years-old.
One of the reasons involves his injuries. Boone suffered issues with his knees, hips, and chest during his playing days, yet the word is he’s completely healthy. That doesn’t mean he’s worth the signing. If the Browns were going to sign a veteran at guard, they should sign one that isn’t battling back from injuries, a two-year layoff, and being (at best) an above-average guard at the peak of his health.
Now he’s older, slower, and has been out of the game for a long time. Yes, he may be healthy, but bringing in Boone at the cost of developing a rookie or younger player makes no sense and is another reason to avoid him. If this was someone who was active, had a history of not missing games, didn’t have issues with substances in his past, and was one of the best at his position at his peak, then sure, bring him in. That isn’t, nor wasn’t Boone.
We’re talking about a guy who wasn’t even the best linemen on his own team multiple times, let alone in the NFL. Yet now, after all this wear and tear, and all these injuries, we’re supposed to believe he can just slide right back in? Maybe he can, but is a 33-year-old who might not finish the season better than a Wyatt Teller, who’s still capable of improving? That’s a tough one.
Hopefully, Boone does get picked up by a team that needs him. He deserves another shot, that’s not what’s being said here. Simply, there isn’t room for a player with his situation on this team, that’s all. At least today. Maybe in the not-so-distant-future, the Browns can bring him in. He shouldn’t be signed until the team knows they don’t have anything else to work with at guard, however. Boone should only be an “in case of emergency” signing for the Browns.