June 19, 2024

On January 26, 2022, a significant day for Minnesota Vikings enthusiasts, Kwesi Adofo-Mensah was appointed as the team’s new General Manager. Shortly thereafter, he played a pivotal role in the head coach selection process that brought Kevin O’Connell to the Vikings.

In his recent column, Pioneer Press writer Charley Walters shared some intriguing insights into the behind-the-scenes developments concerning the team’s first and second-round draft picks from 2022, Lewis Cine and Andrew Booth Jr.

According to Walters, former first-round pick Lewis Cine is considered “untradeable” due to the $4 million still guaranteed in his rookie contract, which spans two more seasons. Charley, a former Minnesota Twin and a seasoned competitor of the late Sid Hartman in breaking scoops, bluntly suggests that Cine is likely to be waived during training camp.

Twin Cities columnist believes Lewis Cine, Andrew Booth could be cut during  training camp - Athlon Sports

The decision surrounding Cine may come as a surprise to some. He was the inaugural selection made by Adofo-Mensah as an NFL general manager, making the prospect of cutting him with two years remaining on his first contract a challenging one to contemplate.

Cine’s 2022 season was abruptly halted by a severe compound fracture injury to his lower left leg during a special teams play in week 4. However, even before his injury, he was not prominently featured in the starting lineup for that season. The unfortunate incident occurred while he was serving as a gunner in punt coverage.

Despite his efforts to recover from the injury in 2023, Cine struggled to secure playing time on defense, logging a mere 8 snaps throughout the season. As a result, he found himself at the bottom of the safety depth chart. While his slow start in the NFL can be attributed to his injury, the prevailing sentiment within the TCO Performance Center may not be optimistic about his prospects.

Although it remains uncertain whether he will be officially waived during training camp, according to Walters, Lewis Cine’s tenure in Minnesota is drawing to a close. And if the Vikings are unable to trade him… the implications are evident.

Not only is Lewis Cine facing uncertainty about his roster spot, but former 2022 second-round pick Andrew Booth Jr. is also in a similar predicament with the Vikings.
According to Walters’ article, Booth Jr. is described as someone who “seems close to being done as a Viking.” Booth Jr. has struggled to make an impact during his two seasons in Minnesota. In his 2022 campaign, he earned a disappointing coverage grade of 41.7 from Pro Football Focus (PFF), which led to his benching. Throughout the season, he only managed to play a total of 105 snaps.
While Booth Jr.’s performance improved slightly last season, he still exhibited inconsistency that prevented him from solidifying a starting role in the NFL. Ultimately, he was replaced by 2023 third-round cornerback Mekhi Blackmon.

Vikings rookie Andrew Booth Jr. faces serious roadblock in Cam Dantzler -  Yahoo Sports

Overall, Adofo-Mensah’s 2022 draft class has been disappointingly underwhelming. The lack of impactful contributions from this draft class may have set the team back a year or two, as it has only yielded one starting player in Ed Ingram.
If Cine and Booth are indeed released during training camp this year, it would leave only Ed Ingram, Brian Asamoah, Akayleb Evans, Ty Chandler, Jalen Nailor, and Nick Muse as the remaining players from that draft class on the roster. There is even speculation that Asamoah, Evans, and Nailor could also be on the chopping block this year.
As the offseason unfolds, it remains to be seen how things will pan out. However, according to Charley Walters, it’s unlikely that Lewis Cine or Andrew Booth Jr. will secure spots on the 53-man roster.

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