Reason No. 2
Minnesota's talented safety room
When Lewis Cine was drafted, the Vikings' group of safeties wasn't very impressive at the time.
They had just come off a 2021 season in which Xavier Woods and Harrison Smith were the starting safeties, while 2023 standouts Josh Metellus and Cam Bynum were merely special teams and depth players.
Woods wound up leaving Minnesota during the 2022 offseason, so it appeared by many that the Vikings were in need of safety help heading into the 2022 NFL Draft, with Cine ending up as the potential solution.
Cine lost the starting job to Bynum in 2022 and lost most of his rookie year to the aforementioned leg injury.
Bynum was not great in 2022, and Metellus was still mainly a special teams player, but in 2023, everything changed, as Minnesota fired Ed Donatell as their defensive coordinator, and in came Brian Flores.
With Flores's hiring, the scheme he brought with him unlocked the full potential of Bynum and Metellus, with Smith still being a mainstay in the defense, admittedly a little worse than years prior.
The Vikings now had three safeties that they couldn't take off of the field, so where was Cine to go? Minnesota was already placing Metellus all over the field, and adding in a fourth safety just wouldn't have worked.
Cine drew inactive tags week after week in 2023, due in large part to the Vikings' abundance at safety but also in part to him still needing time to work on his leg.
With more time to rehab his injury and the looming threat that Minnesota will cut Smith this offseason, 2024 will truly be the time to see if Cine can get out on the field, as he'll have less of a logjam to deal with.