ESPN Report Another Shocking News: Just In Minnesota Vikings Confirm The Departure OF Another Most Valuable Top Sensational Star Player

Lewis Cine’s Successor to Harrison Smith of the Vikings Is Announced
Former first-round pick Lewis Cine, once hailed as the Minnesota Vikings’ Harrison Smith replacement, is falling behind rising safety Theo Jackson.

Re-emerging in organized team activities (OTAs), Jackson has amassed a career-high 21 tackles and his first interception after a breakout season.

Alec Lewis of The Athletic identified Jackson as one of his top players to watch this spring and suggested that Jackson might take Smith’s place when the future Hall of Famer retires.

Jackson is just twenty-five years old. He was selected by the Tennessee Titans in the sixth round, but they waived him because they didn’t want to keep him, and the Vikings took him. In a May 24 mailbag segment, Lewis stated, “He is unquestionably the No. 4 safety on the depth chart and could be a future option post-Harrison Smith.”

The safety room of the Vikings is full of talent. Defense coordinator Brian Flores has found ways to get his best players on the field; Camryn Bynum, Josh Metellus, and Smith all played over 1,000 snaps last season.

With 126 defensive snaps in 15 games, Jackson came in second. In contrast, Cine was a healthy scratch multiple times in the latter stages of the 2023 season and only saw eight snaps in one game during the previous season.

After training camp, Lewis projected that Cine would not make the initial 53-man roster because second-year defensive back Jay Ward would surpass him for the fifth and final spot.

This is arguably the roster’s most reliable position group. Lewis stated, “Smith, Bynum, Metellus, Jackson, and Ward are basically shoo-ins. “It will depend on how explosive he is overall and how well he adjusts to Flores’ defense, but I wouldn’t be shocked if he beat out any of the other five.”

Theo Jackson of the Vikings Displays Instincts, Versatility, and Exploitation
The safety of Theo Jackson Getty Vikings Jackson, Theo

Jackson, a “Star” hybrid safety in college, spent his final season at Tennessee as a do-all safety. With 78 tackles, nine tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, 11 passes defended, and a touchdown-against-interception return against Tennessee in 2021, he had a breakout season.

In that scheme, you’re essentially a safety, a cornerback, and a linebacker, Jackson stated in a preseason interview for 2022. “You must have toughness. You must be quick and intelligent. You must possess good ball skills.

Do you recognize this?

“My forte is adaptability. “Players having the ability to fill multiple positions,” Flores stated in 2023 at his inaugural press conference. “We need to coach them up to play those multiple spots if we want to accomplish that. We’ll try to showcase our players’ strong points while casting a wide net to see what we do best.

It’s hardly shocking that Jackson has a role under Flores. He spent a large portion of his snaps as a box safety, free safety, and slot cornerback. In addition to his explosiveness, he has demonstrated astute instincts; on his pro day, Jackson recorded a 4.46 40-time and a 1.54 10-yard split.

Former Vikings LB Senses Emotional Divide With Locker Room in Lewis Cine’s Last Chance
Lewis Cine Getty Images of the Vikings

Given that Jackson fits the Vikings’ ideal candidate profile for Cine, this could be Jackson’s final opportunity to establish his value to the team.

During an appearance on “The Power Trip” morning show on January 11, former Vikings linebacker and KFAN sideline reporter Ben Leber shared his observations since Cine recovered from a devastating leg injury sustained during his rookie season, even as questions about why he hasn’t seen the field continue to mount.

According to Leber:

Although I’m not familiar with the details, this is what I have noticed. Lewis Cine’s longevity with this team and in the NFL are both subjects of doubt in my mind. Whether he is dressed or not, I see very little interaction between him and his teammates when I watch him on the sidelines. I see a man who appears to be defeated. I’m not sure why. I am unaware of the circumstances surrounding his personal life and the condition of his leg. You’ve seen men recover from fractures all the time. I am unsure of the extent of his bone fracture. Given the severity of his injury, we must extend him some leeway.

But over the whole time he’s been here, I’ve noticed and witnessed something that seems emotionally distant. I treat him with the same decency as anyone recovering from an injury. Even though he has been able to play in games where he has been a healthy scratch this year, it is still a depressing time to be injured and feel disconnected from your team if you have played the game.

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