It turns out Lewis Cine will get his preferred jersey number, 16, after all.
Cine, the Vikings' first-round pick out of Georgia, was introduced to the media a couple weeks ago with a No. 6 jersey, saying he chose it because 16 wasn't available and this was the next-best thing. That was surprising because the Vikings' didn't have a player listed as No. 16 at the time and the number isn't retired.
I assumed a returning player or incoming free agent had already claimed 16, but something must've changed, because Cine is keeping his college number. He picked 16 at Georgia because that's how old his mother was when she had him.
The Vikings updated their official roster on Tuesday with the jersey numbers for almost all of their rookies and new players. Because it's early May and not a ton is going on in the NFL world, let's talk about those numbers.
- S Lewis Cine: 16
- CB Andrew Booth Jr: 23
- G Ed Ingram: 67
- LB Brian Asamoah II: 33
- CB Akayleb Evans: 21
- DL Esezi Otomewo: 90
- RB Ty Chandler: 32
- T Vederian Lowe: 63
- WR Jalen Nailor: 83
- TE Nick Muse: 34
16 is a bit unusual for a safety, but I like it. The star here is Booth keeping his college number of 23, which is a great cornerback number. Evans in 21 is pretty good too. Asamoah taking Dalvin Cook's old 33 (Cook is 4 now) is a bit odd for a linebacker, but he wore 24 in college, which is an even weirder LB number. He's leaning into the non-conventional LB number vibe. I don't love 32 for Chandler, mostly because it makes me think of the plodding Toby Gerhart. 83 feels like a tight end number (Steve Jordan, Tyler Conklin), but maybe Nailor will get to move to the 9-14 range after roster cuts shake out. 34 is a fullback number, not a tight end number. Muse needs to switch to the 80s if he makes the team.
Free agent acquisitions
- CB Nate Hairston: 27
- CB Chandon Sullivan: 39
- OLB Za'Darius Smith: 55
- LB Jordan Hicks: 58
- G/C Chris Reed: 62
- G/C Austin Schlottmann: 65
- G/T Jesse Davis: 73
- DL Jullian Taylor: 78
- TE Johnny Mundt: 86
- DT Harrison Phillips: 97
Nothing super notable here — most of these guys got to keep their numbers from their previous NFL teams. Davis previously wore 77, but that's retired in honor of Korey Stringer, so he gets a better guard number at 73 (though the memory of Dru Samia haunts). Mundt goes from 82 with the Rams to 86, which feels like an upgrade. Phillips goes from 99 with the Bills to Everson Griffen's old 97. I like it.
- S Mike Brown: 37
- RB Bryant Koback: 38
- OLB Luiji Vilain: 43
- DT Tyarise Stevenson: 51
- OLB Zach McCloud: 59
- C Josh Sokol: 60
- WR Thomas Hennigan: 89
- K Gabe Brkic: TBD
- P Ryan Wright: TBD
All I have to say is...yikes. These are about as bad as you'd expect from undrafted rookies. The only ones I don't hate are McCloud with 59 and Hennigan with 89. Vilain is probably the best player in this group, but 43 as an edge rusher is rough. That's a safety number (Cam Bynum wore it last year).
Returning Vikings with new numbers
- RB Alexander Mattison: 2 (previously 25)
- RB Dalvin Cook: 4 (previously 33)
- CB Cameron Dantzler: 3 (previously 27)
- S Cam Bynum: 24 (previously 43)
- RB A.J. Rose: 31 (previously 36)
- CB Parry Nickerson: 35 (previously 39)
- FB Jake Bargas: 36 (previously 34)
- P Jordan Berry: TBD (previously 3)
- G Wyatt Davis: 52 (previously 51)
Cook and Dantzler rocking their collegiate single-digit numbers is going to be fun, especially considering the significance No. 4 holds for Cook. Bynum going from 43 to 24 is a huge upgrade and makes me feel better about his chances of seeing the field and playing well despite the addition of Cine in the draft. Berry had his number taken by Dantzler, so maybe he'll take 6?
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