Former Vikings Defender Joins 5th Team in 6 Months

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An awful start to the 2023 season, at least in the standings, led the Vikings to make a couple of moves. The addition of offensive guard Dalton Risner was long-awaited, and in addition to that, GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah traded for running back Cam Akers, reuniting him with his former offensive coordinator, Kevin O’Connell.

Former Vikings Defender Joins 5th Team in 6 Months

Part of the offseason rebuild of the defense was to assemble a new cornerback room while getting rid of four 2022 starters. Patrick Peterson and Chandon Sullivan curiously both play prominent roles for the Pittsburgh Steelers, while Duke Shelley is a depth player for the Los Angeles Rams. The fourth contributor who left Minnesota was Cameron Dantzler.

Former Vikings Defender Joins 5th Team in 6 Months
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After three years of wearing the purple jersey, Minnesota surprisingly released him in the offseason. He has now joined the New Orleans Saints and is stashed on their practice squad, according to KPRC2’s Aaron Wilson.

Dantzler has been going through quite the odyssey this year. When the Vikings waived him, the Washington Commanders claimed him and his contract. Roughly two-and-a-half months later, the Commanders also waived the former Mississippi State defender, and he didn’t even make it to training camp. Commanders head coach Ron Rivera looked for CB help but determined that the former Vikings’ starter couldn’t be that help.

A week later, Dantzler signed a one-year deal with the Buffalo Bills, but right at the beginning of camp, he was released with an injury designation. The Houston Texans signed him for the final preseason game, and he actually played well and logged an acrobatic interception, but still, he didn’t make the roster on cutdown day.

Week 16 Vikings Injury Report
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The Saints are his fourth team since the Vikes released him, a ridiculous number for one year, but that is the life of players on the roster bubble.

Dantzler’s career path has been quite strange. The Vikings needed someone to play cornerback after the mass exodus in 2020. Xavier Rhodes, Mackensie Alexander, and Trae Waynes departed in free agency, and Mike Zimmer built a young group. Jeff Gladney was a first-rounder, Dantzler was added in the third round, and 2018 first-round selection Mike Hughes. The latter went down early, and Dantzler was asked to start in the secondary after having a good training camp.

Surprisingly, he played incredibly well, and many folks envisioned him as the top cornerback for years to come. In 2021, the Vikings signed Patrick Peterson and Beshaud Breeland, and Dantzler landed in the doghouse, watching Breeland play bad football without a getting chance.

2 Vikings Return From IR
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After Zimmer’s departure, Dantzler had another opportunity with the new regime in town but, once again, landed in the doghouse at the end of the year. New defensive coordinator Brian Flores also didn’t retain him. A strange career after a promising rookie season.

Dantzler now must perform well in practice and hope for an injury or two to the players on the active roster, so the Saints need to elevate him to the roster and give him a chance.

Janik Eckardt is a football fan who likes numbers and stats. The Vikings became his favorite team despite their quarterback at the time, Christian Ponder. He is a walking soccer encyclopedia, loves watching sitcoms, and Classic rock is his music genre of choice. Follow him on Twitter if you like the Vikings: @JanikEckardt