Texans Sign Another Former Viking

Sep 11, 2022; Houston, Texas, USA; General view of a sticker commemorating 9/11 on the helmet of Houston Texans center Justin Britt (68) before the game against the Indianapolis Colts at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports.

So far this offseason, the Houston Texans have signed Mike Boone (RB), Jacky Chen (OT), and Case Keenum (QB) to contracts, a trio of former Minnesota Vikings.

Texans Sign Another Former Viking

And on Tuesday, Texans general manager Nick Caserio made it four ex-Vikings, adding cornerback Cameron Dantzler, according to KPRC2‘s Aaron Wilson.

Texans Sign Another
Dec 25, 2020; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara (41) looks back at Minnesota Vikings cornerback Cameron Dantzler (27) on a 40-yard touchdown run in the first quarter at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports.

Wilson tweeted, “Sources: Texans signing former Vikings cornerback Cameron Dantzler. Former Vikings third-round pick from Mississippi State who has 149 career tackles and three interceptions. Played 75 percent of the defensive snaps last year.”

Dantzler, 24, joins his fourth NFL team in the last six months.

Week 16 Vikings Injury Report
Sep 11, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings cornerback Cameron Dantzler Sr. (3) reacts late during the fourth quarter against the Green Bay Packers at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

Here’s the formal timeline for Dantzler’s offseason:

  • March 10: Waived by Vikings
  • March 13: Claimed by Commanders
  • May 30: Waived by Commanders
  • June 7: Signed by Bills
  • July 28: Waived by Bills with injury designation
  • July 29: Unclaimed leaguewide, reverted to Bills IR
  • July 30: Waived by Bills with injury settlement
  • August 22: Signed by Texans

Dantzler showed several flashes of optimism since joining the Vikings as a 3rd-Round draft pick in 2020 but finished three straight seasons with a whimper due to injury or otherwise. Dantzler fired up an admirable 70.9 Pro Football Focus grade as a rookie, followed by an even better 73.8 score in 2021. Yet, after getting injured midseason in 2022, Dantzler never seemed to recover and lost his starting job to Duke Shelley.

Vikings Said Goodbye
Oct 9, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings cornerback Cameron Dantzler Sr. (3) comes off the field after the game against the Chicago Bears at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

Vikings fans and pundits knew the 2023 offseason would entail defensive change, but Dantzler wasn’t necessarily on the list of probable cuts. He was inexpensive, young, and possessed the ‘upside’ label. The Commanders and Bills waivers, especially prior to the preseason, put a severe damper on that prognosis. He’ll hope to remain attached to Houston’s roster for longer than weeks or months.

Minnesota severed ties with five veteran CBs since March: Patrick Peterson (Steelers), Duke Shelley (Raiders), Chandon Sullivan (Steelers), Kris Boyd (Cardinals) — and Dantzler.

Last year, Dantzler scored a game-sealing fumble recovery — which was really just Dantzler robbing a football away from former teammate Ihmir Smith-Marsette — over the Chicago Bears at U.S. Bank Stadium. It turned out to be his biggest highlight of the season and perhaps his career.

Dec 26, 2021; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Van Jefferson (12) and Minnesota Vikings cornerback Cameron Dantzler (27) battle for a pass from quarterback Matthew Stafford (not pictured) in the end zone during the second quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. The pass was incomplete. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

Dantzler will contend for a 53-man roster spot among these Texans CBs:

  • Derek Stingley Jr.
  • Steven Nelson
  • Desmond King II
  • Shaquill Griffin
  • Darius Phillips
  • Tavierre Thomas
  • D’Angelo Ross
  • Ka’dar Hamilton
  • Garret Wallow

The Texans are projected by sportsbooks to win 6.5 games in 2023. Regular season rosters will be announced on August 29th.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by OverTheCap.com.