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Ravens, Saints Could Take Shot On First-Round Bust

The Minnesota Vikings could cut Lewis Cine, and the Baltimore Ravens and New Orleans Saints could use his services.
Lewis Cine Cut

After two underwhelming seasons, the Minnesota Vikings could cut safety and former first-round pick Lewis Cine. Selected with the 32nd-overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, the Georgia product was supposed to be the next great staple of Minnesota’s secondary. Instead, Cine appeared in just three games as a rookie and struggled to see the field even before suffering a season-ending leg injury. His 2023 season was more of the same, as he only played eight defensive snaps for the entire season.

With no clear path to playing time, ESPN’s Kevin Seifert believes that the former first-round pick could be on the roster bubble despite only having two seasons under his belt. It’s hard to know exactly how good Lewis Cine is with so little game film. If the Vikings don’t have room for him on the roster, then perhaps the Baltimore Ravens or New Orleans Saints could take a flier on the underutilized first-round pick.

Vikings Could Cut Lewis Cine, Ravens and Saints Could Have Interest

The Baltimore Ravens have two above-average safeties in Kyle Hamilton and Marcus Williams. While these two form one of the better starting safety duos in the league, the Ravens could use a third option. Nobody runs more three-safety looks than John Harbaugh’s squad, and the team has yet to find an adequate replacement for the departed Geno Stone. The team brought in Jamal Adams for a visit, which suggests they’re in the market for a backup safety. If cut, Lewis Cine could be the perfect low-risk, medium-reward signing for this club.

While Adams used to be one of the best safeties in the league, age has done a number to the veteran. At this point in his career, the former All-Pro is nothing more than a glorified linebacker who is a liability any time he’s not in the box. Lewis Cine, meanwhile, has a much wider range of outcomes. Perhaps the cut candidate simply doesn’t belong in the NFL, or perhaps the Ravens can find a way to bring out the talent that made him a first-round pick all those years ago. Either way, he shouldn’t cost too much and his upside easily justifies a spot on the practice squad or the back of the roster.

Saints Add More Insurance

The Saints have a strong secondary but have a glaring weakness at the second safety position. While Tyrann Mathieu remains a starting-caliber player, this team is still looking for a proper Marcus Maye replacement. New Orleans recently signed Roderic Teamer to a new deal, but the former Raider is nothing more than a backup-caliber player. Perhaps Lewis Cine is also destined for backup work, but New Orleans should roll the dice on high-level talent in the Vikings cut him.

New Orleans currently has just over $12 million in cap space but that comes with an asterisk. Thanks to years upon years of restructures, the Saints are well over the projected 2025 salary cap and shouldn’t give out top money to a free agent like Justin Simmons. They’ll need to look for diamonds in the rough, and Lewis Cine could be the best find available if the Vikings cut him.

Main Photo: Jeffrey Becker – USA Today Sports


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