Mean Cine Gets the Sheen of Green

Minnesota Vikings safety Lewis Cine, the 1st-Round pick for the team in the 2022 NFL Draft, is a done deal. Cine signed his rookie contract on Wednesday, promising a four-year stint with the Vikings.

Fully-guaranteed rookie deals for 1st-Rounders are the “new wave” in the NFL, as the NFLPA has campaigned for the tendency as of late. For the last couple of seasons, the Top 24 or so picks in the draft have landed guaranteed cash — and Cine is no different, selected by Minnesota with the 32nd pick two weeks ago.

Cine was acquired via trade by the Vikings, a controversial move as new general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah flipped his 12th overall pick to Detroit Lions for extra draft capital. Trading with division foes is normally coined taboo.

Lewis Cine Got Tricked
Georgia safety Lewis Cine, who played at Everett High, was taken with the 32nd and final pick in the first round of the NFL Draft by the Vikings. BRETT DAVIS/ASSOCIATED PRESS

Through direct compensation with the Lions, via trade of the 12th overall pick, the Vikings added Cine (S), Andrew Booth (CB), Ed Ingram (OL), and Brian Asamoah (LB). The Lions landed Jameson Williams (WR) and Josh Paschal (EDGE).

Cine will partner with Harrison Smith at the safety position, with cornerbacks Patrick Peterson, Cameron Dantzler, rookie Andrew Booth, and Chandon Sullivan to their sides. This week, former Carolina Panthers Luke Kuechly linebacker shockingly called the Vikings 2022 secondary “the best in the NFL.”

The Vikings also added beef up front on the defensive line this offseason, welcoming Za’Darius Smith, an EDGE rusher who defected from the Green Bay Packers, and Jordan Hicks, a linebacker from the Arizona Cardinals.

For a couple of months, because the Vikings made no free-agent moves at safety, Camryn Bynum was theorized as the starting free safety in 2022. But Cine changed that prediction with a podium announcement from Roger Goodell on April 28th.

Georgia defensive back Kelee Ringo (5) and Georgia defensive back Lewis Cine (16). News Joshua L Jones.

By most pundits, Cine is considered Week 1-ready, and the only notable knock on his game is a propensity for violence. He’s a hard-hitter — the type of player who would’ve been revered for “jakked up” stuff 20 years ago. Now, though, the NFL regulates gruesome hits, so Lewis must be careful to avoid personal fouls.

Vikings 7th-Round tight end Nick Muse also signed with the team on Wednesday.

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 Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).

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