Boise State Football

Ex-Boise State safety George Iloka signs, makes NFL’s best defense even better

Cincinnati Bengals free safety George Iloka intercepts a pass intended for New York Giants wide receiver Tavarres King during the fourth quarter Nov. 14, 2016, in East Rutherford, N.J.
Cincinnati Bengals free safety George Iloka intercepts a pass intended for New York Giants wide receiver Tavarres King during the fourth quarter Nov. 14, 2016, in East Rutherford, N.J.

It figured to be a short stay on the free agent wire for former Boise State safety George Iloka, and sure enough, he found a new NFL home three days after being released by the Cincinnati Bengals.

Iloka, entering his seventh pro season, signed with the Minnesota Vikings on Wednesday. When Iloka’s rookie contract ended following the 2015 season, Minnesota was one of the interested parties, but he opted to remain with the Bengals on a five-year, $30 million deal.

With the Vikings, Iloka will be reunited with coach Mike Zimmer, who was the Bengals’ defensive coordinator in Iloka’s first two seasons. Iloka will immediately challenge Andrew Sendejo to start at strong safety. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported Iloka signed a 1-year deal. He has started the last 76 games he has played.

Minnesota had the No. 1 defense in the NFL last season in yardage allowed and points per game allowed.

“Bringing in Iloka upgrades an already stout Zimmer defense that has no visible weakness,” NFL.com’s Kevin Patra wrote. “Adding a starting safety of Iloka’s caliber to a stud defense that already boasts Pro Bowlers at every level is akin to tossing bits of Oreo cookie into your double-chocolate fudge sundae that is already topped with sprinkles, chocolate chips, candied nuts, whipped cream, and four cherries.”

BOISE STATE PLAYERS ON NFL ROSTERS

RB Jay Ajayi, No. 26 Philadelphia Eagles

LB Kamalei Correa, No. 51 Baltimore Ravens

DL Tyrone Crawford, No. 98 Dallas Cowboys

CB Donte Deayon, No. 38 New York Giants

C Marcus Henry, No. 62 Seattle Seahawks

S George Iloka, No. 28 Minnesota Vikings

S Chanceller James, No. 43 San Francisco 49ers

S Jeron Johnson, No. 29 Dallas Cowboys

DE Demarcus Lawrence, No. 90 Dallas Cowboys

OT Charles Leno Jr., No. 72 Chicago Bears

RB Doug Martin, No. 28 Oakland Raiders

RB Jeremy McNichols, No. 33 San Francisco 49ers

CB Jonathan Moxey, No. 25 Arizona Cardinals

OL Rees Odhiambo, No. 70 Seattle Seahawks

C Matt Paradis (Council High), No. 61 Denver Broncos

CB Orlando Scandrick, No. 22 Kansas City Chiefs

CB Jamar Taylor, No. 28 Arizona Cardinals

S Darian Thompson, No. 27 New York Giants

LB Leighton Vander Esch (Salmon River High), No. 55 Dallas Cowboys

LB Tanner Vallejo, No. 40 Buffalo Bills

WR Cedrick Wilson, No. 16 Dallas Cowboys (injured reserve)

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