Flip side of the ‘Jamo’ trade not going well for the Vikings thus far

USA Today

The Detroit Lions and Minnesota Vikings agreed to a major trade during the 2022 NFL Draft. Lions GM Brad Holmes shipped three picks to the division rival Vikings to move up and select Alabama wide receiver Jameson Williams at No. 12 overall. The Lions also picked up No. 46 overall, a second-round pick that Holmes used to draft Kentucky EDGE Josh Paschal.

The Lions end of that trade has been a mixed bag through two seasons. The book is far from written on Williams, who has battled injury and a gambling suspension but is expected to assume a larger role in Year 3. Paschal too has battled injury issues that date back to college and hasn’t found a defined full-time role through two seasons.

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Even with the Detroit duo’s uncertain performance in 2022 and 2023, the Lions have gotten the better end of the deal.

Minnesota acquired picks No. 32, 34 and 66 in the trade with Detroit. The Vikings traded No. 34 to the Green Bay Packers (who took WR Christian Watson) and eventually — after another trade — netted two more second-round picks in 2022.

Here’s what the Vikings selected with their end of the “Jamo” trade:

32 – Lewis Cine, S, Georgia

42 – Andrew Booth, CB, Clemson

59 – Ed Ingram, OG, LSU

66 – Brian Asamoah, LB, Oklahoma

Starting with Cine, the Vikings end of the trade has just not panned out for Minnesota and GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, who was a rookie running his first offseason back in 2022.

A devastating knee injury suffered in Week 4 of his rookie season robbed Cine of most of his first year with the Vikings. But Cine’s struggles began before that. The rangy safety had played just two defensive snaps in the first four games and was a healthy scratch in Week 1 — not exactly what the Vikings or their fans expected from their first-round pick.

Cine was healthy for 2023 but played in just seven games. More tellingly, the 24-year-old appeared on defense for just eight snaps, all in the Week 17 blowout loss to the Packers.

After being a healthy scratch for 10 games in his second year, Cine might not get a third in Minnesota. A recent minicamp report from ESPN indicates that Cine faces an uphill battle to make the Vikings roster in 2024.

During the practices open to reporters, Cine appeared to be no better than the sixth safety on the roster, if you include all-purpose defender Josh Metellus. Reserves Theo Jackson and Jay Ward, not to mention starters Harrison Smith and Camryn Bynum, were all working ahead of him. Booth got some runs with the second team, but he’ll have to contend with at least two newcomers — likely starter Shaquill Griffin and rookie Khyree Jackson — for a roster spot.

Booth, the bounty from the Vikings’ deals, catches a stray mention there too. The cornerback didn’t appear on defense until Week 9 of his rookie season, a healthy scratch for five of those prior weeks. He has just one start in two seasons, the Week 18 contest against Detroit at the end of 2023, and has played barely 250 defensive snaps. Like Cine, Booth is in real danger of not making the Vikings roster in his third year.

Asamoah has yet to start a game in the NFL and plays primarily on special teams. He was a healthy scratch for a prolonged stretch in 2023, playing just 36 snaps at linebacker last season. Asamoah appears safe as the No. 4 linebacker in Minnesota, but he’s not expected to seriously challenge any of the three players above him for reps in 2024. He’s effectively a lesser version of Detroit’s Malcolm Rodriguez, who was taken four rounds later in the same 2022 draft.

The last pick Minnesota acquired in the trade, Ingram, has been the best player through two seasons. Ingram has started all but two games as the Vikings’ right guard. He hasn’t excelled, with PFF ranks of 57th (of 77) as a rookie and 43rd (of 78) in 2023, but Ingram has at least been a functional starter as a third-round pick. He will have to fend off a training camp challenge from Blake Brendel this offseason to keep that role.

It’s safe to say that both teams expected more back when they agreed to the trade during the 2022 NFL Draft. Through the first two seasons, however, it appears the Lions got the better end of the intradivisional trade.

Portions of this article were originally published by the same author at Draft Wire.

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