Lewis Cine Is Running Out of Chances

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When Kwesi Adofo-Mensah took over for Rick Spielman, one of the first points he could be evaluated as general manager was how his initial NFL Draft went. That inaugural class left plenty to be desired, and Lewis Cine has already embarked upon bust territory. In 2024, that may be it.

Lewis Cine Is Running Out of Chances

Despite having a pick in the middle of the first round, Kwesi Adofo-Mensah traded back during his initial foray at the head of an NFL Draft. Not only did he deal with a divisional rival in the Detroit Lions, but it seems he couldn’t have gotten the pick more wrong. Ultimately, the Vikings settled on the safety position, taking Georgia’s Lewis Cine. In trading back, they also passed up safety Kyle Hamilton, who has since emerged as an all-pro for the Baltimore Ravens.

Cine Is Running
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Understandably, Cine’s career has not gone according to plan. Just three games into his NFL career, he suffered a gruesome leg injury that left him in a London hospital and put an end to his rookie season. After spending time rehabbing and getting back up to speed, this year couldn’t have made it clearer that the coaching staff thinks he still has a ways to go.

Cine played a whopping total of eight defensive snaps across seven games this year. Getting in 84 snaps on special teams, he didn’t clear the 50% bar there, either. Left inactive across all other contests, the Vikings opted to keep him off the field regularly. Despite being healthy, it was deemed he wasn’t ready to contribute.

The safety position is one of transition for Minnesota at the present moment. Harrison Smith appears close to riding off into the sunset, and there is an opening for players to step up. Cam Bynum and Josh Metellus accomplished that at a high level in 2023, but the first-rounder in Cine completely bungled the opportunity.

Lewis Cine Pitched a Shutout vs. Lions. And Not in a Good Way.
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Heading into 2024, it’s worth wondering whether Cine will be on the roster at all. It will be year three of his rookie deal that was set to pay him just under $11.5 million. He carries a cap hit just above $3.1 million for 2024, and his dead cap figure is just over $4 million. Between his signing bonus and base salary, the Vikings stand to clear up some dollars if they want to move on, and he would be more than available if anyone wanted his services in a trade.

There’s no other way to describe that initial initial other than unfortunate. Cine never got a chance to launch during his rookie season after going down against the New Orleans Saints, and it seems like the development time missed may be an obstacle not allowing him to recover. At this point, he should be much further along than we have seen, and it’s hard to bank on any level of promise.

NFL Minnesota Vikings safety Lewis Cine. © Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports.

If Cine is ultimately sent packing, it will put an even bigger stain on what was already a miss of a draft for the new general manager. Making sure he gets it right in year three with critical holes is a must, but he is still cleaning up the mess he handed himself when he just took the job.

Ted Schwerzler is a blogger from the Twin Cities that is focused on all things Minnesota Twins and Minnesota Vikings. He’s active on Twitter and writes weekly for Twins Daily. As a former college athlete and avid sports fan, covering our pro teams with a passion has always seemed like such a natural outlet.